Photo credit: Señor Codo via Fotopedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
There was something of a ruckus last week when Newt Gingrich proposed that we abolish the EPA, and replace it with an agency that by and large already exists. The Newtster was probably trying to cash in on the anti-regulatory sentiment so popular these days, but it looks like he may have overshot: A recent poll reveals that 77% of Americans think that "Congress should let the EPA do its job". 61% of Republicans feel the same way. What's more, the majority of Americans feel that the EPA should do more, not less:The national opinion survey, conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) International for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) additionally found the following:
"Almost two thirds of Americans (63 percent) say "the EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water," versus under a third (29 percent) who think the EPA already "does too much and places too many costly restrictions on businesses and individuals." Well under half of Republicans (44 percent), less than a third of Independents (29 percent) and under a fifth of Democrats (16 percent) think the EPA is going too far today.Only 18% of Americans think pollution safeguards should be lowered. The poll makes it pretty clear that Americans understand the important task assigned to the EPA -- protecting our nations' air and water.
It's always difficult extolling the virtues of a cumbersome bureaucracy, but it's important to remember that the EPA is far too important to even consider dismantling. It's the only thing preventing industry and individuals from dumping, emitting, and contaminating our nation's national resources. It's responsible from the drastic improvement in air quality in our urban areas. Nobody else is going to enforce pollution controls nationwide.
And though anti-regulation is a popular maxim at the moment, when it comes down to it, people don't want industry to pollute at will. They understand that restricting such pollution provides immense benefits for general human health and the environment. Which is why nobody's on board with the Gingrich's plan. Nice try, Newt.