Here’s a resignation we can all get behind:
The head of the EPA’s environmental justice program resigned Thursday over concerns President Donald Trump might slash funding for the 24-year-old project.
Mustafa Ali, a former senior to the administrator responsible for directing the agency’s actions protecting minority communities, stepped down in a letter to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. He also voiced concern the Pruitt plans on gutting the project.
“I wonder if our new leadership has had the opportunity to converse with those who need our help the most,” Ali wrote in the memo. “I strongly encourage you and your team to continue promoting agency efforts to validate these community’s concerns, and value their lives.”
Ali, who helped found the program in 1992, leaves as Democrats and activists continue to bicker about the agency’s reduced impact during the Trump-era.
The EPA is supposed to be a non-partisan agency tasked with protecting people and the environment. What the hell is an “environmental justice czar?”
Well, here’s what the EPA website says:
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys:
- the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and
- equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.
Why does the EPA need a special agency to protect minority communities? Nowhere in the EPA’s mission statement is there any sort of provision limiting environmental protection to areas. In other words, it’s a big money government program built on socialist assumptions about perceived injustice. It’s not just susceptible to being hijacked by partisan ideologues, it is explicitly ideological.
What’s more likely here is that EPA priorities are a reflection of local priorities. Well to do states and communities are more likely to prioritize enviornmental protection and raise a stink than poor communities. People in poor communities don’t have the luxury of prioritizing environmental protection. Your ability to care about the environment is tied directly to your paycheck.
There’s absolutely no reason why an agency like this should continue to exist.