A “collective consciousness” — and not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — is responsible for the turnaround we’ve seen over the past few decades as pollution became the hot-button topic. In a conversation with Steve Milloy, author of the recently-published book, “Scare Pollution: Why and How To Fix the EPA,” radio host Dawn J. Bennett discusses the agency’s ills that began forming after its founding in 1970.
Milloy, publisher of the popular website “Junk Science,” joined Bennett on her radio program, “Financial Myth Busting,” for a conversation that focused on the failings of the EPA and its role in the U.S. government today.
“Until the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, no one really paid attention to the environment. All anyone cared about was, and rightly so, economic development,” Milloy said. “When we became wealthy enough that the environment started bothering us, well, we took action, and over the past 45 years, we cleaned up the environment. As a matter of fact, we cleaned it up a long time ago, it’s been clean for a while.”
In his conversation with Bennett, Milloy attributed the turnaround in thoughtless pollution, dumping and waste to our society’s “collective consciousness” that was no longer going to tolerate dirty air and dirty water.
“You need a lot of money to have a clean environment. You look around the world, the countries with the worst environments are the poorest countries. The first requirement for a clean environment is wealth. We had a lot of that, so it was really sort of a team effort,” he said.
Moreover, Milloy argues that the EPA as it currently exists is bloated and its role far too large within the federal government. In the four-plus decades since the entity was formed during the Nixon administration, Milloy said that individual states have taken over the bulk of environmental issues done at home.
“There still is a role for a federal EPA, but it’s a much smaller role. It has to do with interstate issues, maybe some international issues, and something that’s national like pesticide registration,” Milloy said. “But the fact is that most environmental protection is done by the states. We don’t need this massive, economy killing federal EPA.”