Congressional Right Wing zealots seek to protect polluters and ruin our health

The Republicans in the House want to tie health regulations to the unemployment rate. Is this a good strategy? Commons sense says no. Photo: Night scene of an industry polluter

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., July 24, 2012 — Do you wonder what the “New Majority” is doing to protect our health? Wonder no more, they have decided to stop health and environmental regulations.

We all have been bombarded by ads by the “New Majority” PAC, asking candidates to embrace the policies of the majority members of the House of Representatives. This not so subtle message is nothing more than the new strategy of the Right wing of the Republican Party (Where is Karl Rove?).

Actually there is no Right wing in this party, the Republicans have moved so far to the Right that today Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater would be thrown out for being Marxists. The rightist rhetoric has gotten so extreme that one former House member that used to be known as the most conservative lost to a Tea Party candidate because he said at a town hall meeting that Obama was not a Marxist.

U.S. Capitol is under a cloud

Now comes an insidious bit of legislation. A bill (HR 4078) has been in the works to functionally stop all regulation until the unemployment rate decreases to 6% or below. Some speculate that one of the main reasons is the energy industry’s dislike (read costly) of an anticipated EPA announcement of styrene as a “reasonably anticipated” carcinogen.

The bill would require that all significant regulations would have to be tabled until the unemployment rate is certified by the Department of Labor as being 6% or less. As usual there are some exceptions. One would allow the President to grant a waiver if:

(b) Presidential Waiver — An agency may take a significant regulatory action if the President determines by Executive order that the significant regulatory action is —

(1) necessary because of an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency;

(2) necessary for the enforcement of criminal laws;

(3) necessary for the national security of the United States; or

(4) issued pursuant to any statute implementing an international trade agreement.

If the President can’t issue this waiver, then Congress could step in (fat chance under the current politics) and issue one.

Conveniently, there is no definition of what Section …(b)(1) would mean and what threshold would have to be met. Typically this means that Congress can require anything and everything to agree that this waiver is valid.

EPA logo Photo: M. Salazar

What this and other bills pending (HR 5953 and 3862) would mean is that any regulation that would impact the energy industry would be delayed or scrapped. Others may be weakened to the point that they would be ineffective. These proposed bills would in fact take away the authority of EPA and other Federal agencies to protect human health and the environment. It would also put the scientific responsibility for protecting our health in the hands of right wing politicians.

Some would say that with a Democratic Senate and Executive, these bills will die or be vetoed by the President. True, but what would happen if the Democratic Senate and/or the President are voted out of office?

Once again we are seeing the economic power of corporations and their lackeys in the House of Representatives subvert our quality of life to provide more advantages for themselves. One has to admire the quickness of the development of these strategies to take advantage of the wins the Republicans made in the midterm elections. In about one year, they have been able to implement their corporative agenda. As usual the Democrats are still twiddling their thumbs.

Assuming that these strategies are effective in cutting the unemployment rate to 6%, which is very doubtful, would you be willing to live with a decreased quality of life? Once they repeal Obamacare, are you going to have enough money to pay for the damage that the lack of regulation would do to your health?

Vote for a healthy America and not for more prosperous corporations.

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist <> at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.

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Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change.  He will also try to convey his joy of being old.

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