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The EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda is filthy dirty … and a suggestion for who should walk the plank

What started as an online cruise through the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for litter and trash data turned horribly wrong almost from the first click.

Litter and roadside trash info? Good luck.

Rather than pull up trustworthy data, it was chock-full of politically-bent phrases such as this: “… sensible regulations for economic growth,” “… revise regulatory barriers that impede energy independence, including unnecessary burdens on coal miners and coal-fired electric utilities,” “engaging with state and local partners,” and “… coal is still the foundation fuel that delivers reliability at competitive prices for our cooperative system.” All this sordidness is under the banner of the Back-to-Basics agenda.

Translation: This is code for a clean environment be damned. The Trump administration will grime its way to filthy air, land and water. The world moves one way, we defiantly move another.

And then there’s this penchant for coal. Dirty, polluting, filthy coal. Administrator Scott Pruitt – the same Oklahoman behind the nefarious efforts to gut the EPA before he became its evil overseer – is hell bent on coal as the poster child for … what? He pays no heed to the surge in job growth in the renewables sector (in effect ceding leadership to the Chinese).

Already, his administrative wheels are turning to dismantle anything that smacks of clean air, clean water or an overall clean environment.

So while I poked around for run of the mill and closer-to-home facts to support our fledgling anti-litter efforts (i.e. U.S. consumers generate 4.6 lbs. of waste per day, versus 2.8 lbs. in 1960 as well as posting an abysmal recycling rate that puts us well behind other developed nations), the more I was sidetracked by Pruitt’s blather, the madder I became.

Look, I’m all in favor of energy jobs. I am. But for God’s sake, man, look at the preponderance of facts that support solar and wind as reliable, clean job producing energy sources. (No. Wait. The Trump administration doesn’t like science. Never mind. My bad.)


My online search for litter and trash data got derailed by an unsettling amount of politics.

No doubt in Pruitt’s grand scheme of things, my little 2.7 mile corner of the world – Sharon View to Colony to Fairview to Sharon and then home – is of little or no consequence. Apparently, neither is a healthy future for my grandchildren and his and yours. And theirs.

Maybe it’s me who’s missing the boat. I’m just a lowly walker who picks up after slobs. But the clean energy ship has already left the docks and left Pruitt and Trump standing by the empty gangplank. It’s too late them for them to walk aboard.

But on second thought, here’s a better – and more personally satisfying – suggestion: they could skip the gangplank altogether and just walk the plank instead.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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