This is actually not a CK original. One of our American readers emailed me wishing to contribute here from time to time. Nick Scott had emailed me an article about how far the Rethuglican budget cuts could go. In this case, go so far as to endanger public health. I will just let Mr. Scott take it from here.
US Budget Cuts Could Put Public Health At Risk
by Nick Scott
In the United States, there’s been an increased aim in cutting the overall budget, as well as a heavy amount of money from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proposed reductions would cut about a third of the EPA’s 2010 budget. This would likely cut down on some of the major initiatives of the EPA such as the monitoring of water contamination and primarily the Clean Air Act in America. While those who are behind the cuts see benefits of reduced gas and more revenue for businesses, others see the reduced budget evolving into increased health risks and continued problems for the environment.
EPA administrator Lisa Jackson sees this cut of the budget as a risk for the future, claiming “If Congress ever gutted that funding, then EPA would be unable to implement or enforce the laws that protect Americans’; health, livelihoods, and pastimes.” She also claims that “Without adequate funding, EPA would be unable to implement or enforce the laws that protect Americans’ health, livelihoods, and pastimes.”
The GOP leaders at the backing of the initiative see improved business as a major reason for cutting the budget. The EPA’s limits on greenhouse gas emissions are referenced as a main reason for some of the reduced revenue with some of these major businesses. This is mostly involving the EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from places like refineries, factories, power plants and others. With a lift on the limit of emissions, many of these plants may look to abuse the freedom, letting out a high amount of toxins and pollution.
Some of the health risks that Lisa Jackson claims possible should not be taken lightly, however. Without all the financial backing for the EPA, pollution control and good air quality could be at risk. This risk could likely be accompanied with an increase in long term health risks such as cancer, mesothelioma, and some less severe risks such as breathing problems and asthma. The end result can also be risking lives with some of these health problems, as mesothelioma life expectancy usually only averages a year following diagnosis, for example. Lisa Jackson also claims that the work of the EPA saves a number of people from trips to the hospital and the accompanied bills every year.
These businesses that are losing money because of the EPA’s limit will likely start to push even more contaminants into the air if EPA emission restrictions end up being cut. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has great backing to her thought to the fact that health risks would likely go up, with higher amounts of gas emission.
If these budget cuts continue to be pushed through, the results will likely be a determining factor for some other international countries in their own budgeting process and how much environmental progress needs as a far as resources go. When it comes to budget cuts, they should be well studied and thought out with citizens benefitting from the strategy. The long term health risks associated with pollution and poor air quality are not to be taken lightly, even though things like higher revenue and cheaper gas may satisfy some in the short run.