There Is a Health Emergency. So Let’s Relax Pollution Rules


Photo by PIRO4D via Pixabay

Scam artists follow national disasters as sure as power outages follow hurricanes. So it’s no surprise we’re seeing stories about citizens being taken advantage of by a storm of grifters while preoccupied by the economic and physical blows from the coronavirus.

And the most dangerous scam hitting Louisiana is not only going largely unnoticed by those affected, it’s getting a helping hand from the people who should be protecting us.

I’m talking about the scam of rolling back environmental regulations being run by President Donald Trump and his GOP acolytes.

It goes like this: They sell the idea that regulations reducing pollution — especially from fossil fuel emissions — are unnecessary for your health and are killing our economy.

It’s a scam because those claims have long been proven wrong. Instead, this is just another push to put the force of the government behind higher private profits even if it costs human lives — and in the case of Louisiana, its future.

For example on March 30, the same day Trump extended social distancing through April, his administration finalized a roll back of 2025 car fuel economy targets from 54 miles per gallon to 40. That rule was a major step by the Obama Administration to slow climate change because those emissions are a major engine driving accelerating sea level rise. It would also save Americans billions in fuel costs and thousands of lives over the decades.

This rollback is a particular blow to Louisiana residents and businesses located south of I-10 because the state’s own plan for coastal survival says unless emissions are quickly curbed, the Gulf could flood much of that area by 2060. And lower fuel standards mean higher emissions.

About the only sector happy with the rollback is the oil industry because lower fuel economy means more sales emission-releasing gas.

Read the rest of the article at The Times-Picayune.