This Week’s Cartoon: “GOP Cleans Up Environmental Laws”

While the nation was distracted with debt ceiling shenanigans, House Republicans did something else that went largely and predictably ignored by much of the news media. They quietly slipped 39 anti-environmental riders, many of them eye-poppingly radical, into an appropriations bill. The riders would do things like: prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases for one year, stop coal ash from being treated as hazardous waste, and block the enforcement of new fuel efficiency laws that automakers have actually agreed to. The money quote from Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID): “Many of us think that the overregulation from E.P.A. is at the heart of our stalled economy.” Oh yeah, that’s it. Fortunately, many of these brilliant ideas won’t make it through the Senate, but you never know, now that we live in a hostage-ocracy.

As I first read about this, it occurred to me that Republicans tend to view environmental protections themselves as a form of pollution. If the GOP fought actual pollution with the same vigor they display in fighting pollution laws, America would be clean enough to lick. Don’t think about that too hard.

Oh, and on a somewhat-related note: it takes a lot to get me to LOL, but this item on TPM did it. Tea Partiers have swallowed a Glenn Beck-promoted conspiracy theory that the UN is going to take away their farms through a sustainability program called “Agenda 21.” To quote Beck:

Some people now have begun questioning and standing up to what, on the surface, seems like a harmless initiative just to save the environment. But it is not… once they put their fangs into our communities, they’ll suck all the blood out of it, and we will not be able to survive. Watch out.

(via Media Matters)

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  • Tom

    I always get a good chortle out of the people terrified of the UN. Such as the Arizona folks who heckled John McCain at a recent town hall about the UN coming to take their farms away.

    After all, just look at the overwhelming force the UN brought to bear against the Serbian army! And the way they jumped right into the fighting in Rwanda and forcefully separated the warring factions! Not to mention the way in 1967 they boldly stood in the way of th Egyptian army’s plan to mass armies against Israel.

    Y’know, in these strapped times, there must be a way to separate some money from the teabaggers…… Maybe I could market a personal fragrance called “UN B-Gone.”

  • Elmore

    I have friends who operate a bed-and-breakfast in a small town in Arkansas. The town’s main drag was to be included in a state-designated “scenic byway” route that might have increased tourist traffic in the town and stuff like that. The town council had to approve it, and they were all set to do so when the town attorney piped up about the scenic byway being part of the UN’s sinister Agenda 21. The council actually bought that crap, tabled the vote, and eventually voted NOT to be part of the scenic byway route, much to the dismay of my hotel-owning friends.

  • Tom

    Oh muh Gawd, as folks say. Which town in Arkansas was that?
    It reminds me of the time that the Florida town of Inglis took up a formal motion to ban the devil from the community. I keep meaning to get a pair of horns and drive through sometime enroute to Clearwater.

  • Elmore

    Calico Rock, Arkansas, about 20 miles up the White River from Mountain View.

  • Jen Sorensen

    And such a gosh-darn cute name for a town, too!

    I’ve often that teabaggers and their ilk explain the existence of late-night infomercials hawking dubious products. *Someone* must be buying this stuff.

  • Elmore

    Jen, the look on your cartoon face says it all.

  • Alan

    Greatest cartoon ever.

    BTW, I know who buys those products, because I deliver them. . . you’ve pretty much got it right. They can even be nice people, sometimes. But badly enough misinformed to support all manner of atrocities.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.