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Environmental protections have been rolled back in shocking numbers

By AMANDA WHEELER

Going Green in the Bluegrass

They say if you boil a lobster slowly, it won’t know it is being cooked. I looked it up and actually, most recipes say that you should have the water already boiling when you put the lobster in.

I tried to see if people actually boil their lobsters, and they do. Evidently, if you kill the lobster before you boil it there can be bacterias found in lobsters that multiply rapidly when the lobster dies and they may not all get killed while boiling the lobster.

So, the best way to make sure you don’t get sick is to boil the lobster alive.

I thought this was all very interesting, even if it’s getting away from my point: If something happens to you slowly over time, you just make small adjustments and you may never realize that anything is the wrong.

That is exactly where we are with the environmental rules and regulations being rolled back by the current federal administration. I know that the current administration is not filled with environmentalists and many of them would rather make money than protect the environment. But when you look at all of the environmental rules that have been rolled back and are in the middle of being rolled back, it is astonishing.

According to an article in the New York Times, the current administration has rolled back or is in the process of rolling back (as of December 2019) 95 environmental rules and regulations. Yes — 95.

As of December, 58 of these had been completed and 37 of them were in the works.

The rolling back of all of these environmental protections while others are fighting tooth and nail to try and protect the environment is disheartening to say the least. It was already hard to try and make a difference for the environment before these policies were rolled back, and now the administration is making this uphill battle to keep our planet habitable for our children even steeper.

The current administration is a giant step backward for the environment.

Here are just a few of the 95 environmental regulations that have been rolled back or are targeted for rolling back:

  • A requirement was canceled for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.
  • Water pollution regulations were rescinded for fracking on federal and Indian lands.
  • A ban was lifted on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • The environmental review process for federal infrastructure projects has been relaxed.
  • A ban was overturned on the hunting of predators in Alaskan wildlife refuges.
  • Fishing regulations for a number of species were amended to allow for longer seasons and higher catch rates.
  • A rule was reversed that required braking-system upgrades for “high hazard” trains hauling flammable liquids, like oil and ethanol.

For the full list of the regulations that have been reversed or are in the process of reversal, visit nyti.ms/2UxLseP.

It’s one thing to know that the administration is bad for the environment, but it’s astounding to read the things that have been done one after another. It’s discouraging to see the things that have been done and will continue to be done unless we stop it.

Luckily, this is an election year. If you are unhappy with the state of environmental policy in this country, you can make a difference at the ballot box.

This column focused on environmental policy at the federal level, and I plan to look into environmental policy at the Kentucky state level as well.

I have often tried to stay out of politics, but I have also realized that we cannot remain silent and expect changes to happen. Dr. Seuss wrote it well: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I would add that in addition to caring, we must also take action.

 

Amanda’s Animal Fact of the Week

An arctic fox’s tail can help them balance as well help to keep them warm.