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Given the fact that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt spent the better part of his career suing the EPA, it should come as no surprise that he has announced plans to cut back on environmental protections in an “aggressive way.”
Pruitt’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference prioritized American industry over environmental protection, accusing the Obama administration of sacrificing American prosperity to make “puddles and dry creek beds across this country subject to the jurisdiction of Washington DC. That’s going to change.”
On the subject of some conservative’s desire to eliminate the EPA altogether, Pruitt said “I think its justified. I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. I hope to be able to change that.”
The Environmental Protection Agency was created by Richard Nixon in 1970. The Republican president vowed to “transform our land into what we want it to become.”
Protecting the environment was less of a partisan issue at this period, mostly due to the incontrovertible evidence of environmental catastrophes harming American citizens in the form of smog-soaked cities and poisoned waters.
These photographs depict an America before the EPA’s regulations started seeing results. For those who have grown up under the protections of the EPA, it is perhaps easy to forget why it was created in the first place. These images serve as a chilling reminder.
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Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW
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