I'm fighting Trump on environment (Sen. Tom Carper)

The column begins by noting how the writer attended the first ever Earth Day celebration 48 years ago in California, at a time when the Cuyahoga River (in Ohio) was so polluted that "it actually caught fire" and many other environmental problems existed. Truly, "our world was a different place" at the time. Thanks to the creation and efforts of the EPA, the remedial efforts have "been so successful" that we have the luxury of forgetting why we celebrated Earth Day in the first place." Despite the "incredible strides" that have been made since 1970, however, "there is still more work to be done". And "unfortunately, the Trump Administration has spent much of the past 15 months trying to move us backward and undo decades of progress." Climate change - extreme weather events - the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime - and the Trump administration has chosen to bury their heads in the sand, abandoning a global pact to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, a natural component of the atmosphere essential to life as we know it on this planet) that "is supported by literally every other country on Earth" - declare "all-out war on climate science and scientists” - accept drinking water crises in communities across this country - weaken protections under the Clean Water Act that have been used to hold upstream polluters accountable - do nothing about studies showing that far too many counties in America, including New Castle County, have high levels of particle pollution, ozone, etc. - allowing states to get away with pollution that crosses state boundaries into downwind states like Delaware (that's where 90% of DE air pollution comes from). In sum, President Trump and his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt "have repeatedly sought to undermine the bedrock environmental protections put in place decades ago that have saved countless lives, protected our environment and spurred economic growth." All of us should "vow to do more - not less- to protect the only home we all have. This is not just a necessity. It is a moral obligation, and there is no time left to waste."

We agree that the formation of the EPA was probably a good idea in 1970, and that the agency has done some good work over the years. However, the law of diminishing returns has set in - with each successive tightening of environmental requirements producing smaller benefits at higher cost. The real war against science is not being waged by skeptics of the manmade global warming theory, but rather by their intellectual adversaries. The idea that ever stricter regulations spur economic growth is nonsense. The Paris Climate Accord is not a rational plan to fight global warming, it is a plan for the redistribution of wealth that would primarily penalize the US and European countries. Compare: Take renewable energy claims with "grain of salt," 4/16/18.
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