WASHINGTON, October 2, 2017 – Today, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech touting the Trump administration’s efforts to delay, undermine and cut science-based safeguards. Unfortunately, the administration has ignored science and the public interest in its rush to deregulate, leaving Americans, especially low-income communities and communities of color who often face the greatest threats, at risk, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.
This administration has swept away protections that took years to develop. These critical safeguards were created based on the best available science and public input, but now they’re being quickly and carelessly deleted. They’ve ignored the evidence and put the interests of industry lobbyists over public health and safety. These changes will put Americans at risk, yet the president and vice president see this as an opportunity to take a victory lap.
The rush to undo these rules has real, damaging consequences. Communities near chemical facilities will have less information about the risks they face—raising the danger to families and first responders in the case of accidents like the recent Arkema explosion in Houston. The pesticide chlorpyrifos will stay on the market despite evidence that it sickens farmworkers and harms brain development in children exposed to it. Workers will be more likely to get serious illnesses from exposure to silica dust and beryllium on the job. Parents will have less information about how much added sugar is in the food they buy for their families. Without limits on pollutants like ozone, methane, carbon dioxide, heavy metals and mining waste, our air and our water will be dirtier and it will be much harder for us to manage the risks of climate change. And today Vice President Pence promised to go even further in dismantling these safeguards.
The vice president may tout it as an accomplishment that the administration has derailed so many public health and safety protections. For the rest of us, though—particularly for low-income neighborhoods and communities of color—this is no victory. It’s a willful failure by the administration to do its job protecting Americans.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.