To the Editor:
No sane person wants dirty, contaminated or toxic air, water, land or food. No one wants to get sick or die because of such things, or see others do so.
Everyone would prefer that they and their loved ones be able to breathe clean air; drink, bath and recreate in clean water; have their land and food be free of toxins; and avoid cancer, lung and other diseases, as well as needless premature death.
Unfortunately, toxins; contaminated air, water, land and food; cancer and other illnesses; and death can be a consequence of the industry that brings us modern comforts, conveniences and pleasures we all enjoy and have become accustomed. Such poisons often are invisible to the naked eye or occur somewhere other than where we live. As they, say, out of sight, out of mind.
When dangers arise, it too often becomes a question of priorities. Do people, a clean environment and their health take priority, or do economic profits?
The Environmental Protection Agency was established because too often in the past, profits took priority over people and a clean environment. However, there always have been those who fought to protect their profits, even if doing so came at the expense of people and the environment.
Too often a relative few benefited more than anyone else economically, and the poorest among us often were more likely to be exposed to dangers. Those profiting have a long history of trying to hide the dangers their industries created to protect their profits.
In general, the pendulum swings depending on whether Republicans or Democrats control Congress and the White House. During the Ronald Reagan administration, we had the infamous Ann Gorsuch trying to neuter the EPA.
During the Bill Clinton era, we had Al Gore. It swung back during the George W. Bush era, and the other way again under Barack Obama. But now, it really has swung in favor of profits over people, with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt largely turning to those in the industries that pollute for advice on how to conduct EPA business.
What do you think those in polluting industries will prioritize, people or their profits?