The Environmental Protection Agency has been getting slammed lately: Republicans have launched efforts attempting to roll back its ability to enforce the Clean Air Act, strip the agency of its funding, and certain figureheads like presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich have called for getting rid of it altogether. Meanwhile, the vast, vast majority of Americans, who evidently enjoy clean water and air, want Congress to leave the EPA alone. Lisa P. Jackson, the head of the EPA, took to the Daily Show last night to chat about the recent battles. Jon Stewart's show is turning out to be a fine forum for discussing the importance of environmental protections -- he recently schooled Senator Rand Paul on the subject, as you'll recall. The video continues below:
Note Stewart's befuddlement over how industry, and the bastion of politicians sympathetic to it, could possibly make a compelling case for not cleaning up their operations. They can't. If companies can prevent their pollution from endangering public health -- and killing thousands of people every year -- why the hell shouldn't they? That, ladies and gentleman, is why the public consistently believes it's a good idea to let the EPA do its job, that one of government's core duties should be to protect the environment, and that polluting industry shouldn't have free reign over our skies and water.