Letter to the Editor for March 17, 2017

Walden needs to jump off Trump bandwagon

Trump ran and won promising healthcare coverage for everyone, avoiding Medicaid cuts, and boosting funding for opioid abuse treatment. He is now lobbying Congress to pass the Republicans’ health (don’t) care bill (of which you are a primary author) that does none of those things. Instead, millions will lose insurance and Medicaid will be sacrificed on the altar of tax cuts for the rich. The statements to the contrary you made recently, as cited in the Baker City Herald, are disingenuous, at best.

But it’s not just Obama’s ACA that you and he are attacking. Trump is trying to unwind the environmental protections your constituents depend on to keep their air and water safe and to allow prediction of dangerous weather and climate scenarios.

To wit, he proposes:

• Killing the Energy Star program (saves people and businesses billions of dollars each year)

• Eliminating the Environmental Justice Office at EPA

• Drastically cutting funds for wetlands restoration

• Gutting EPA’s climate-change programs and those designed to prevent air and water pollution and brownfields cleanup

• Slashing NOAA’s funding for climate research and satellite programs (satellite cuts could be especially dangerous, by limiting NOAA’s ability to forecast extreme weather and give people the information they need to stay safe).

• Rolling back fuel-efficiency standards

However, the environmental regulations Trump is specifically attacking do not “kill jobs” as he (and you) have stated. There is no consistent evidence that environmental regulations cause long-term changes in overall employment. For example, the Institute for Policy Integrity has just published “Does Environmental Regulation Kill or Create Jobs.” (http://policyintegrity.org/files/media/Jobs_and_Regulation_Factsheet.pdf.) Among its clearly reasoned findings:

• Regulations have little effect on aggregate employment or unemployment rates.

• Blocking regulation solely based on job effects is bad economics, bad policy, and bad law.

Please support your constituents: Drop your support for the proposed healthcare bill, and resist Trump’s environment-killing proposals. And vigorously support more funding for NOAA, EPA, NASA, and the Departments of Interior and Agriculture and their agencies working so hard to keep us safe from air and water pollution and the degradation of our natural resources and climate.

Andrew Rorick

Baker City

16752694
The Baker City Herald
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