End the duopoly

The Trump administration’s toxic torrent of environmental rollbacks impedes social justice

At this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the White House is pursuing a massive rollback of our nation’s environmental protections. Given everything going on in the world today, many people probably don’t realize that the most critical — and most egregious — of these rollbacks has been finalized just in the last three months.

To put it bluntly, while our country wrestles with a devastating disease outbreak, a debilitating economic crisis, and an outpouring of anger and grief over racial injustice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies have quietly burned the midnight oil to complete a march of policies certain to worsen our health, damage our environment and leave a toxic legacy for our children.

What’s worse is that underserved and overburdened communities will pay the greatest price for these reckless actions, including the Black community and other people of color — just as they have with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the director of the Washington Department of Ecology, I don’t say this lightly. My agency needs the partnership of federal agencies to do its job. We continue to do what we can, but the administration’s repeated moves to freeze states out of crucial […]

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