Back in 2015, President Obama signed into law the Water of the United States Rule, a provision that restricts pollution in streams and tributaries that flow into lakes and rivers. It took years and years of studies by both the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to compile the data the rule is based on, which essentially boils down to this: Shit flows downhill.
To be more specific, pollution flows from small rivers to large ones, then into the ocean or lakes.
This probably shouldn’t have been a shock, but there you have it. A rule was put in place that basically codified common sense, so, naturally, businesses that make a living involving work with oil, chemicals, mining tailings, fertilizers, and other nasty pollutants near waterways immediately hated the rule. Especially Scott Pruitt—the new head of the EPA—who sued the EPA over the rule back when he was Attorney General of Oklahoma.
Pres. Trump will sign an executive order today ordering the EPA to “review” the rule, which is wonky language for “figure out how to work around it or get rid of it altogether,” and, as far as I’m concerned, Pruitt should recuse himself from any say in this since he already tried to sue the very agency he leads over the implementation of the rule.
Stick to surfing, you say?
Cleaner streams mean cleaner rivers which mean a cleaner ocean. It’s as simple as that. Trump and Pruitt will now choose business over a clean planet to live on, which maybe means they have high hopes for the TRAPPIST planetary system we just found as a replacement Earth.
By the way, the president is also expected to sign an executive order this week to begin the tearing-up of much of the climate change legislation enacted into law by the Obama administration meant to curb air pollution and greenhosue gas emissions from coal plants.
The new administration is effectively declaring war on legal environmental protection. How much damage that does is yet to be seen, as is how strong a bulwark any resistance to their policies may be.
If you’re concerned about rolling back environmental protections, contact your local congressional representative.