The Environmental Protection Agency has been instrumental in improving our nation’s air, land and water quality. From the inaugural Clean Air Act of 1970 to the Brownfields Program and Great Lakes cleanup, the EPA has established antipollution standards, cleaned up contaminated sites and provided safe drinking water to millions of people. These achievements merely scratch the surface of the EPA’s positive impact on the environment and human health at large.
Until recently, decades of scientific research on climate change formed the springboard for the EPA’s protective and effective measures. However, under the administration of Scott Pruitt, the agency is experiencing a new wave of policymaking—or rather, policy dismantling. (He has already dismantled the Clean Power Plan, which would have regulated carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector, and is now targeting vehicle-emissions standards.) If his actions continue in the same direction, during Pruitt’s term at the EPA the environment will be threatened instead of protected, and human health endangered instead of preserved, all with no long-term benefit to the economy.
Whitman, who served as EPA administrator under President George W. Bush, is a former governor of New Jersey