GOP Gone Wild: Next Target EPA in a Very Big Way
Gov. Chris Christie, another favorite among Tea Party loyalists, has said the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which preserves more than 800,000 acres of open land that supplies drinking water to more than half of New Jersey’s residents, is an infringement on property rights. Mr. Christie has moved to shift power from planning boards and government agencies to administrative judges, political appointees who, environmentalists say, tend to rule more often in favor of developers’ interests.
I wrote about the strategic attacks on the EPA last fall and the first of this year and now the next thing on the GOP-Libertarian-Koch backed-Tea Party agenda has come up on their to-do list: DESTROYING ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION and the EPA.
You can thank the Koch backed Mercatus Center for this gift to the right-wing crowd. I reported on Mercatus in February in my post:
The strategy is one that is being used across the board: Defunding programs and departments the GOP is opposed to like the EPA. The level level of government where this tactic is most effective is at the State level, the same tactics. The 16 Republican held states are now ground zero as we have come to see with the attacks on collective bargaining and public education. I hope people are starting to understand our country is under attack and public policy and domestic programs are being undermined by extremely wealthy people who want to privatize everything – literally. This is a cultural and ideological trend and one that needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.
This morning the NY Times reports: Weeks after he was sworn in as governor of Maine, Paul LePage, a Tea Party favorite, announced a 63-point plan to cut environmental regulations, including opening three million acres of the North Woods for development and suspending a law meant to monitor toxic chemicals that could be found in children’s products.
Another Tea Party ally, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, has proposed eliminating millions of dollars in annual outlays for land conservation as well as cutting to $17 million the $50 million allocated in last year’s budget for the restoration of the dwindling Everglades.
And in North Carolina, where Republicans won control of both houses of the Legislature for the first time in 140 years, leaders recently proposed a budget that would cut operating funds to the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources by 22 percent.
In the past month, the nation’s focus has been on the budget battle in Washington, where Republicans in Congress aligned with the Tea Party have fought hard for rollbacks to the Environmental Protection Agency, clean air and water regulations, renewable energy and other conservation programs.
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