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Tea Party Strangles Green Laws

Monday, February 6, 2012

dreamstime_xs_21093508 The photographs show rows of chairs mostly occupied by elderly people who have been mobilized by the Tea Party. They are definitely not from the "one per cent," but they are doing the one per cent’s bidding. Their avowed goal is to stop anything that smells green, anything that may preserve the environment if it is also something that looks like a regulation, or anything that may prevent an industrial polluter from fouling the water or the air.

This move has been effective because the country is focused on the "jobs" mantra, with the idea that the only thing that is preventing every American from being employed is a plethora of government regulations, especially those set out by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Tea Party of California are currently circulating a ballot initiative that would repeal ALL state environmental laws. While Californians defeated Proposition 23, which would have suspended the"Global Warming Act of 2006," or Law AB32 in 2010, things could change. AB 32 requires that greenhouse gas emission levels in the state be cut to 1990 levels by 2020 starting in 2012. It is a broad and beneficial law, one that would be sorely missed in California’s progress toward better air.

While large-scale repeals of environmental laws are not taking place, the Tea Party is having a great deal of effect locally. Local chapters are bringing out their troops and defeating local initiatives. In Maine, they got the governor, Paul le Page, to back down on a project to ease congestion on the state’s main coastal corridor, Route 1.

Even this not-particularly-green initiative was seen as part of a dastardly UN plot, Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a 1992 UN resolution designed to encourage nations to use fewer non-renewable resources and conserve open land by focusing development in cities — a world-wide trend that is proceeding all on its own. It is, like many, if not most UN resolutions, a well-meaning book of suggestions not binding on or adopted by any state. The Tea Party, however, egged on by Fox News, sees it as part of a long-term conspiracy to destroy rights and control lives, part of a "one-world order."

The solution, of course, is for the majority of Americans, who are pro environment, to take the trouble to attend local meetings and let their legislators know that the national sentiment supports laws that protect us, even if they curtail, as they must, our ability to foul the water and the air around us. It is the rest of us, truly a too-silent majority,that is not heard above the loud Tea Party voices. If we fail to speak out, we will find that our lives are indeed being controlled, but for the worse.

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