Republicans want to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is charged with the protection of soil, water, and air quality. There’s no possible way that they are uneducated to such a degree that they do not see the dangers of ignoring environmental damage by man which can literally end life on earth. So, why don’t Republicans support the EPA and protect the only planet we have? Follow the money. Major corporations own the GOP, and profit is the only concern of corporations, not human lives.
Monetary gain too frequently trumps the public good. Last week a group of Californians protested in Oakland. They want Governor Jerry Brown to ban hydraulic fracking; an extremely dangerous practice of extracting natural gas and crude far below the earth’s surface. The chemicals used, mixed with sand and water, are lethal and corrupt soil, water, and air quality.
Today state regulators in California are proposing new restrictions on oil companies. They have been allowed to dump waste into the state’s aquifers for the last four years, and they have done it more than 2,500 times. The aquifers are responsible for supplying drinking and irrigation water. California’s drought makes every drop of water precious.
The EPA had warned authorities in California of the dangers of fracking, but the state was rising out of a severe recession and corporate greed was allowed to trump human need. Reports indicated that 140 of the drilling sites were actively pumping waste into the aquifers.
Another issue regarding environmental damage of huge proportions has been discovered; and the culprit named.
Since 1990, approximately 970 million Monarch Butterflies have been killed; that’s 90 percent of the total population. Why are they important? Besides the fact that they are beautiful God-created creatures, they are an important part of our ecosystem. Monarchs are one of the major pollinators of plant life.
Who is killing them; you could have guessed this one; Monsanto.
GMO seeds were created because they can withstand Monsanto’s harmful herbicide ‘Roundup Ready.’ The herbicide is responsible for killing the milkweed, which is the Monarch’s food source.
Corporate greed, and poor chemical science is threatening to destroy the crucial balance between man and nature. The eradication of a single species of animal, insect, or plant can wreak havoc upon this delicate relationship.
One company which is well known for its profit over people practices is your local Wal-Mart store.
In May, 2013, the Wal-Mart Corporation plead guilty to six counts of violating pollution laws in San Francisco and Los Angeles by dumping hazardous materials, including pesticides, at its retail locations.
At the same time, the retail giant also plead guilty in Kansas City, Missouri for its failure to follow proper procedures in the handling of returned pesticides. They were in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Wal-Mart received fines totaling more than 100 million dollars; ‘chump change’ for a multi-billion dollar corporation.
With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, it becomes the responsibility of state and local governments to protect the earth and we who live on the planet.
No living entity can live without water; and as droughts riddle much of the Western United States water is more valuable than gold.
If our elected officials will not stand up to corporations whose lies and immoral practices threaten life on earth, it’s up to the American people. We must elect only those who support sane environmental health for Mother Earth.
Commentary by James Turnage