By Glynn Wilson –
A freshman Florida congressman has introduced legislation to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and he’s joined by co-sponsors in Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky.
Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach, introduced House Bill 861: To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency on February 10 to be effective on December 31, 2018.
Co-sponsors include Republican Congressmen Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
“This legislation is necessary because it is the states and local communities that are best positioned to responsibly regulate the environmental assets within their jurisdictions,” Gaetz said on his website. “The American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats; and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender. Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans.”
“This legislation,” he said, is “to allow our state and local government partners to implement responsible policies in the interim.”
The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committees on Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Science, Space, and Technology.
Gaetz was elected to his first two year term in Congress over Democrat Steven Specht.
Opponents of the legislation may wonder how Gaetz could take such a stand since a paper mill recently exploded in his district in Cantonment, Florida.
Negative comments have been pouring in to his Facebook page since he announced the move.
“Why would you try to eliminate the EPA?” asked Brittany Howze. “! Don’t your constituents need clean water and air? Do you think they are all stupid or something? I guess you are cheap, and can be bought like a prostitute.”
“You want to abolish the EPA? Maybe if someone in your immediate family got cancer from chemical discharges, or your children had to drink unsafe water, you might feel differently,” said Ginny Hale Meredith. “Really. How can you be so thoughtless?”
“Stop dismantling the EPA! You know you love the beaches and being outdoors,” said Cindy Parrao. “Look inside yourself and where you came from. Love your planet. Do the right thing Matt.”
Steven Specht, Gaetz’ Democratic opponent, said in reaction there may be times when the EPA is guilty of overreach.
“But this is only because of lazy legislation by Congress that has deferred to the agency since it’s inception under President Nixon,” Specht said. “Getting rid of the entire EPA is the move of an imbecile who doesn’t think before he acts. Air and water pollution is an interstate problem that requires an interstate solution.”
He wonders what happens when Georgia or Alabama pollute rivers that flow into Florida?
“Do we rely on the court system to handle it after the fact? No,” he said. “We rely on the EPA to set standards before the problem exists.”
He says Gaetz and his cohorts in Congress “are putting downstream recipients of pollution in a position of reacting.”
“I’m a proactive person,” he said. “I think before I speak and I like to deal with problems before they arrive.”
Gaetz will hold a town hall meeting for the Milton and Pace communities February 23 and he seems to welcome questions and expect protesters.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.