Honesty in labeling requires that President Donald Trump declare an emergency to rename (without congressional action, because that’s what emergencies are for) the government entity that has, since its founding, been called the “Environmental Protection Agency.”
The agency’s traditional name suggests an odious bias in favor of environmental “protection.”
Trump nominated the current acting administrator of the EPA, former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, to be the permanent administrator. According to the Washington Post piece on Wheeler’s elevation to permanency, during his period as acting EPA administrator Wheeler “has advanced President Trump’s push to rollback Obama-era environmental regulations.”
During an exchange at a Senate hearing with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Wheeler did not express agreement with Trump’s expressed belief that global warming/climate change is a “hoax,” but he doesn’t believe it is much of a “crisis.” One appreciates his flexibility in seeking middle ground between the views of his boss and the almost unanimous view of the scientific community.
The Senate confirmed Wheeler Thursday on almost a perfect party-line vote. All 47 Democrats voted no, but only 52 of the 53 Republicans voted aye, with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who voted previously to confirm Wheeler as deputy administrator, voting against him for the permanent position.
But the real crisis/emergency is having an agency with a misleading name that suggests a great deal of bias in favor environmental protection. I’m open to suggestion for words that could correctly reflect the agency’s actual purpose.
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About the author:
Eric BlackVeteran journalist Eric Black writes Eric Black Ink for MinnPost. His latest award is from the Society of Professional Journalists, which in May 2017 announced he’d won the national Sigma Delta Chi Award for online column writing.