The EPA is responsible for regulating the production and manufacture of chemicals and other pollutants. The agency enforces its regulations through fines and penalties, among other methods.
The Trump administration has favored a more lenient EPA policy towards businesses and the fossil fuel industry. The administration sought to limit the agency’s ability to enforce environmental regulations with various procedures such as the cost-benefit rule, which CNBC said “imposed restrictions on cost-benefit analyzes for rule making. of the Clean Air Act without explaining why these requirements were necessary. “
The Biden administration is currently in the process of overturning Trump-era EPA policies in a bid to tackle climate change and other issues the administration sees as imminent threats to the United States.
Juliet Carlisle, professor of political science at the University of Utah, said the major shift between the Trump-era EPA and the current administration’s EPA policies is who is in charge and who is in charge. how committed this person is to the protection of the environment.
“Trump appointed an EPA director who sought to dismantle the EPA from within and cripple its ability to do its job,” Carlisle said. “Biden’s goal is to tackle the climate crisis and other environmental issues and knows the EPA has an important role to play in making that happen. “
Carlisle said federal policy can have a strong and direct impact on the environment.
“Specific policies aim to protect the environment to varying degrees, for example,” she said. “However, some policies, not directly related to the environment, can still have an environmental impact.”
Every four to eight years, when a new president takes office, the policy of that administration is adopted.
These changes across jurisdictions can thwart environmental conservation goals and efforts, Carlisle said.
“Presidents can appoint and Congress approves cabinet officials,” she said. “Majorities in Congress can influence policies that are introduced, voted on, and presidents decide what to sign and what not to sign into law… President Trump, for example, unilaterally [decided] withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Environmental changes can happen quickly or rather slowly. The reality is that we are facing dire circumstances with climate change and the effects are already there. “
The environmental effects of these policies can be seen in Utah. For example, cleaner air initiatives are a common priority in the Salt Lake Valley, as the region is reaching record levels for air quality this year alone.
“The policies of the Trump era reversed many environmental protections,” Carlisle said. “One in particular was to change the designation of bear ears. In addition, many of Trump’s regulatory setbacks concerned the production of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels has a direct and negative impact on the climate, exacerbating the effects of climate change. In Utah, climate change is having real and significant consequences for our state. “
For many in Utah – a state with five national parks – protecting the environment is important. Plus, a good business atmosphere may be a priority for many, especially with the high economic growth rates seen in Utah and Washington counties in recent years, according to St. George News.
Tyler Boyles, president of the Republicans at U College, said he believes Utah should be both pro-business and pro-environment.
“We don’t have to choose one or the other,” he said. “The Green New Deal is not a solution, and killing our environment is not the solution. The solution enables companies to innovate and create new ways of being environmentally friendly.
According to Boyles, the nation can see significant progress if businesses and enterprises are guided to create these solutions. He said it can be done without hurting the economy.
“I think when you allow the private sector to innovate and inspire them to create better and cleaner solutions, you can be much more effective in ensuring that we have a clean environment that we can pass on to our future generations. “, did he declare.
Boyles said the Trump administration has done a good job of securing this by making the United States energy independent.
“We need to take sound environmental approaches that can benefit both [business and the environment], “he said.” The US private sector is the most efficient, and if the big government stepped aside, we could really see significant progress in climate and environmental solutions. “