In March 2017, coal mogul Bob Murray came to the Washington headquarters of the US Department of Energy for a meeting with Secretary Rick Perry. Also at the table was Andrew Wheeler, who this month became acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put a two-year suspension on the Clean Water Rule, an Obama-era policy defining which waters can be protected against pollution and destruction under federal law.
EPA head Scott Pruitt proposed another way to weaken U.S. environmental regulations protecting the nation`s waterways from pollution. Pruitt seeks to restrict the agency`s ability to revoke permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowing projects to dispose of dredged or fill material in rivers, streams and other waterways.
Multiple states and conservation groups are legally challenging the Trump administration`s decision to delay the Obama-era Clean Water Rule. Last week, the EPA put a two-year suspension on the rule, which protects large water bodies like lakes and rivers but also listed smaller waterways such as streams, ponds and wetlands for federal protection.
Decades ago, some people thought polluted rivers and streams were the price we had to pay for progress. That’s not a world we have to live in anymore. Nor is it the future our children deserve. Yet President Trump and his allies in Congress are pushing for changes that would turn back the clock to when environmental protection was an afterthought — not the foundation for a better quality of life and a brighter future.