The Reagan Administration Fails Environmental Protection

President Reagan betrays his promise as the Reagan administration fails environmental protection and as a result environmental pollution will increase.

| July/August 1982

The Reagan administration fails environmental protection it promised and the result will be an increase in pollution. 

As we've pointed out before, the words "economy" (from the Greek oikonomia) and "ecology" (from the Greek okologie) derive from the same root . . . oikos, the Greek term for "household". While economy refers to the management of that household, then, ecology refers to the study of it. 

It is, in part, because of the linguistic connection between the two words that we've decided to devote this issue's Economic Outlook to the following excerpt from a book entitled Ronald Reagan and the American Environment, which was put together by Friends of the Earth . . . the Natural Resources Defense Council . . . the Wilderness Society . . . the Sierra Club . . . the National Audubon Society . . . the Environmental Defense Fund . . . the Environmental Policy Center . . . Environmental Action . . . the Defenders of Wildlife . . . and the Solar Lobby. 

Though the material printed here simply provides an overview of the policies that may well be—a bit at a time—robbing future Americans of the right to enjoy a world that's at the very least as clean as the one we share now, the book itself pinpoints each weakened statute and unenforced law. Copies are available for $6.95 each, plus 70 cents shipping and handling (California residents should add 6% sales tax), from Friends of the Earth Books, Dept. TMEN, San Francisco, California. 

There's little good in complaining without taking positive action, though. It's our hope, in printing this excerpt and providing access information for the complete report, to help remind this administration that—regardless of the good that it has undoubtedly done—any attempt to solve our economic problems while ignoring ecological concerns is as likely to succeed as would be an attempt to manage a household without first understanding it. 

President Reagan has broken faith with the American people, the Reagan administration fails environmental protection. During his first 14 months in office, he and his appointed officials have simply refused to do the job that the laws require and that Americans expect of their government—to protect the public health from pollution and to use publicly owned resources and lands for the public good. Instead, Reagan Administration officials are handing over to private use the clean air and water, forests, grasslands, coal and oil that belong to us all. In the name of "getting the government off our backs," they are giving away our natural heritage.

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