Civil Discourse Now

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Trump violates oath: EPA Great Lakes appointee

Trump has chosen Cathy Stepp as head of the EPA’s Great Lakes Region. The Great Lakes contain over 80 percent of Earth’s fresh water. Earth is the planet on which we live. Fresh water is what we need to drink.
Stepp is a high school graduate, former state senator, and served as head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources from 2011-2017. She has no college education. A bachelor’s or graduate degree is no guarantee a person will be competent, but gone are the days when a political insider, without any other qualifications, can “guess” about the effects on people’s health of crap dumped into our waters. By 1970, the American people were disgusted by putrid water and (a la Lake Erie) flammable water. During the Nixon Administration the EPA was created and statutes, such as the Clean Air Act, were passed. That means both houses of Congress passed the bills and President Nixon signed them into law.
Stepp Exemplifies Trump’s intent to ignore the law. If his platform had included (along with slack cut to Russia about Ukraine) repeal of the EPA and other acts aimed at protection of our environment, Putin probably would not have been close enough in the few swing states to flip those electoral votes and hand the LOSER of the election the majority in the Electoral College. As head of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Stepp “‘turned back the clock on basic safeguards’ of water and air,” as Howard Lerner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, stated to AP. WOSU, 12/21/17. Kerry Schumann, director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, said: “Under [Stepp]’s watch, {DNR]’ environmental enforcement abilities were dismantled, its scientists kicked out, its website scrubbed of climate change information and, under the order of the [Governor Scott] Walker Administration, she shifted [DNR]’s focus from protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources to handing out favors to polluters.” “Michigan Live,” 12/19/17.
Worse, in a 2015 speech, Stepp said she wanted to take DNR from a “prohibiting agency to a Permitting agency, which is frankly what I thought we were supposed to be.” This statement displays her ignorance of the laws in question, but also the history of the fight to save the environment. There is a reason we have the Environmental PROTECTION Agency. Directors and shareholders of Penn-Dixie in Kokomo, Indiana, dumped chemicals into Wildcat Creek for deacdes, then went out of business Billions of dollars and a superfund effort were needed to clean Wildcat Creek. Laissez faire brought us Lake Erie flambee. Decades have been spent to rectify the poison that was dumped all over the country
Trump already has stripped over 90 percent of the funding from the EPA Great Lakes Region. Stepp brings ignorance and avarice to further the destruction of meaningful environmental PROTECTION.
Here is a problem for Trump and his minions: the EPA and the various statutes were enacted by vote of Congress and signature of the President nearly 50 years ago. Trump is supposed to enforce the laws. If DT wishes to eliminate EPA, he should coordinate with Rick Perry and order Congress to repeal such matters. Yet, on January 20, 2017, Trump took an oath to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, ;preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” U.S. Const. Art II, sec. 1, para. 8. Also, the President “shall take Care that the laws be faithfully executed.” U.S. Const. Art. II, sec. 3. There is no provision Trump gets to enforce the laws he chooses to enforce.
In general, bureaucracy is not popular but, in such areas as environmental PROTECTION, the bureaucrats do a hell of a lot better than those from whom people, waters and the air must be protected.

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