Photo: K3nna / Flickr
The Republican Congress is rapidly acting to remove environmental protections as well as banking and financial disclosure regulations. This poses a threat to water supplies and reverses economic stability protections put in place after the 2008 recession. It also puts Wall Street behind a veil of secrecy that green lights speculative banking practices once again.
On Wednesday, the House passed Resolution 228-194, which repeals the “Stream Protection Rule.” This measure was intended to bar mining companies from releasing mining waste into local waterways. Then on Thursday, the GOP-controlled Senate voted 54 to 45 to repeal the rule. The President is expected to quickly sign the bill, giving coal companies free reign to pollute.
Congress’ actions are difficult to understand considering the coal market is shrinking domestically and in many countries around the world. The link between coal emissions and global warming is irrefutable. Removal of stream protection puts critical water sources in long-term danger, in favor of very short term profits, for a dead or dying industry.
The House also approved a resolution that ended a rule to require oil and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments to gain access to their energy resources.
Is this Making America Great Again? This is a question rational citizens must be thinking after less than two weeks of unprecedented chaos.
The UK environmental paper TheGruadian, Scientific American and Reuters have announced the EU is turning to China to take the lead in climate leadership now that the U.S. is apparently abandoning its transition to sustainable energy. President Trump has also said he thought the U.S. should pull out of the Paris Agreement.
Inside the echo chamber of the Trump White House, it’s becoming more clear every day that fact-based leadership is out the window. The ends justify the means of strongman power for power’s sake. Welcome to the alt-reich and blitzkrieg “shock event” tactics of Steve Bannon, President Trump’s closest chief strategist and previous executive chair of far-right Breitbart News.
Once again, we see Orwellian “alternative facts” used to further vaguely explained objectives to the public. The Washington Post reported that Presidential consultant Kellyanne Conway cited the “Bowling Green Massacre” to defend Trumps refugee ban. There was no “Bowling Green Massacre.” Conway further claimed that Obama enacted a “six-month ban on the Iraq refugee program.” A similar quote was reported by Breitbart earlier this week. That did NOT happen and is blatantly untrue.
This week the Guardian reported President Trump is taking steps to abolish the U.S. EPA.
These “doublethink,” “freedom is slavery,” “Big Brother is watching you” tactics appear to be working to further divide America from the truth. As Orwell’s 1984 explained, “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
How long can we see respect for America being blasted by “truthful hyperbole” (aka enhanced BS) and contradictory tweets from the White House? How long can we believe we are being made “great again” by removing the oversight and regulations that protect our water, air and the stability of our banking system? How long can we think Trump has the interests of the 99 percent in mind when he has molded a cabinet full of billionaires with a history of defrauding and abusing the laws of our nation and public protections?
Don’t put your “pussyhats” away yet. The Science March and follow-up to the Women’s March will take place around the world on April 22. There will also be a massive climate march in Washington, DC, on April 29. If you’re mad as hell and not going to take this anymore, join the march and make your voice heard.