By RENE ESCOBAR
Since his presidency began, President Donald Trump has signed 19 executive orders for varied reasons. One stands out to me as the destroyer of former president Barrack Obama’s legacy.
That action came March 28, when Trump signed an order to cut Environmental Protection Agency funds by one fourth. He would trim roughly 24 percent from an $8.1 billion budget.
“We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” Trump said during the signing ceremony.
Many jobs would be cut under the budget plan Trump has proposed. If Congress approves the budget, American resources will be hurt.
The EPA not only combats climate change but also helps the country protect its natural resources from harmful contamination.
I recently had an opportunity to talk with hydrologist Gregory Olsen from Tucson Water. His job is to make sure city tap water is as clean as possible for consumption.
Olsen develops ways to keep our drinking water clean. His work helps prevent disasters like the one in Flint, Michigan, where insufficient water treatment exposed residents to high levels of lead.
Although Olsen is not directly employed by the EPA, he works alongside the federal government to preserve the cleanliness of Tucson tap water. And yes, the EPA does play a role in our water treatment center.
“The EPA is like a big brother to what we’re doing at Tucson Water,” Olsen said.
The federal role is to conduct inspections every six to eight months, to make sure the city is doing its job right.
“I fear the inspectors will not show up anymore and force us to deal with a, god forbid, Flint-like problem, under-supervised and under-equipped,” Olsen said.
The EPA is not an organization where all employees are tree-huggers. They’re people who play a vital role in our society and help make modern life more livable. To remain a sustainable country, we need agencies like the EPA.
Rene Escobar is a journalism major who has aspirations to be a voice of reason in a confused world. He is one who wants to be heard.