(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees National Council #238 of EPA Locals today launched its “Save the Environment—Save the EPA” campaign to bring attention to the dangerous impacts the draconian budget cuts proposed by Congress would have on the ability of the EPA to protect our nation’s human health and the environment. In conjunction with the launch of this campaign, the Council has created a website, www.SaveTheEPA.com, which will highlight campaign issues and provide information on Council and congressional action.
“What is the point of cutting EPA’s budget today to reduce the federal deficit if the end result is more illness and death due to a short-sighted focus on costs with no consideration of the benefits of spending? Some people have forgotten that EPA’s budget protects future generations from the harmful effects previous and current generations have caused. We may have saved money today by cutting spending but our children and grandchildren ultimately will pay the price, said Council President Chuck Orzehoskie.
“More vicious than the budget cuts have been the riders attached to funding bills for EPA that have attempted to kill, for example, the Endangered Species Act. There are more than 1,200 species listed as either endangered or threatened in the United States. Once those species are gone, they’re gone,” Council Executive Vice President Tom Link said. “In addition, there was a rider introduced in the 2012 Interior Appropriations spending package that would immediately allow extensive uranium mining directly adjacent to the Grand Canyon, potentially endangering a national landmark as well as some of America's most important water resources.”
“EPA is being assaulted by special interests that want to reduce government to the size where it can be dragged into the bathroom and drowned in the bathtub,” said Council Treasurer John O’Grady. “The mantra that environmental regulations hurt the economy is utter nonsense. What is hurting America today and threatens the natural beauty of this great country is greed—the desire for outrageous bonuses, profits, and salaries at the risk of clean air, land and water.”
“The Council believes the American public needs to be educated about how EPA’s work is being undermined and to motivate them to speak out in favor of clean air and water, and against destroying the beauty of this great country,” added Orzehoskie. “To that end, we intend to conduct surveys of the American people on environmental issues to obtain their view of the importance of EPA, and focus on key funding cuts that will harm human health and our nation’s environment.”