serious question

Everyone cares about clean air and water whether they are liberal or conservative. Obviously conservatives don't want the EPA to be a part of it. The conservatives don't want regulations. But,  doesnt that just create a vacuum where industries are now able to do whatever polluting they want? So, what practical solutions do conservatives have?  What do you do if some big industry comes in and starts dumping pollutants into your streams, polluting your air, or cutting down your forests? Yeah, you got jobs, but what about your health or your kids' health? Or is that just more bleeding heart liberalism and conservatives don’t really see it as a problem? Any ideas?

 

To leave a comment, please sign in with
or or

Comments (20)

  1. magnocrat

    What you normally do is deny anything is wrong and pretend that nature is quite capable of handling absolutely anything we throw at her. The ultimate plan is to get people to throw their rubbish into the street and feel confident the wind will blow it away.

    April 21, 2017
    1. strangetimes

      I don’t believe that most people feel that way. I think most folks do have serious concerns about pollution. I just want to find out what conservatives think the better solution is. Basically, if not the fed government (EPA) then how can the states or local community deal with these issues?

      April 21, 2017
  2. fuall

    It’s not that they feel there’s NO need for rules and/or regulations of any kind, they simply feel there are too many, and those affect the cost of running their businesses.There’s always going to be some douchebag or another blatantly being an asshole by dumping waste where they shouldn’t, no matter what. There are currently businesses and industries doing this right now despite the regulations, and there will undoubtedly be some other liberal douchebag trying to make the claim that it’s the practice of all industry, because hyperbole and fear work so well on the uninformed.
    .
    When I worked at Universal Studios we had an OSHA team come through to inspect a ride where I worked for safety and compliance. They determined that portions of the catwalk and railings had to be modified to comply with regulations. This literally cost the company millions of dollars to get the ride back into compliance so it could be opened to the public. They had to bring in welders, theirs as well as contractors, to lower the catwalks in the ceilings by a couple of inches, keeping the ride down for over a week.
    .
    Just basic safety compliance can run a small business under. Ever read an OSHA regulations manual? If you are going to work on anything higher than 4’ off of the ground you have to have a full safety harness with shock absorbing lanyard, that ladder you were on has to be of a specific type and material, and if you’re on a roof there has to be welded tie-off points every so many feet for safety clips. And the list goes on and on. And if you think ANY of that equipment is cheap, reasonable even, you’d be dead wrong. The costs associated with these items is astronomical…because you HAVE to have them and the sellers know it. OSHA and ANSI specify the standards of all of that equipment and to be in compliance you must have those specific grades of equipment to operate, regardless of cost to you. Many employers now require that their employees provide some, if not all PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) required in their jobs. And a contractor has to comply with all of theses regulations just as a large company does, although less able to absorb the high cost.
    .
    And what about ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies how public areas in places like restaurants and bathrooms are designed, laid-out, and constructed. The outlets have to be moved, the doors changed, the door mechanisms and handles changed (may need auto door opener), the signage has to be changed/installed and must be the right size, color, font size, and, of course, precisely mounted in a specific way. Think any of that is cheap? Or even reasonable? Nope.
    .
    And what about training? If you or your employees are going to be working at any time at a height greater than 4’ then you should be attending, according to OSHA, a “Fall Protection” course. Going to work in tight places? Now you need a “Confined Spaces” training class. And of course everyone needs Fire Safety, Emergency First Aid, and Hazmat Awareness and Handling classes too. And if you will be working on any piece of equipment, guess what? Now you have to have annual training and testing/qualifying on that specific piece of equipment. And you’ll be required to have everyone in that department qualified, regardless of whether or not they will ever actually operate that equipment in the field. I’m terrified of heights, but had to qualify on a 120’ JLG lift because I worked in maintenance, despite the fact that I was NEVER going to actually go higher than 10-20 feet. (Fortunately they let me boom straight out instead of making me go up.)
    .
    So there’s part of an answer for you. There’s simply a vast amount of regulations ruling how businesses operate, but all anyone EVER mentions is some random, one-off company doing stupid shit. Why? Because they’re ignorant of the subject as a whole and want to promote the narrative pimped by those they choose to listen to and believe.
    .
    The EPA is essentially the same. They institute regulations across industry regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate for individual business. And the ones hurt aren’t usually those large companies that STILL do whatever they want anyway and appear on the evening news, having done some stupid shit like dumping chemicals into a river. No, it’s usually a case of crib death, strangling the life out of small companies before they ever even get a chance to get going. Regulations are necessary, but they should be realistic, fair, and achievable.

    April 21, 2017
    1. strangetimes

      I can certainly agree with you that regulations can be a royal pain and that not all industries are irresponsible. I can also agree that some regulations seem and some are ridiculous, some outdated, some need streamlining, and some need to be gotten rid of out right.
      As far as all businesses getting blamed for the crimes of a few, well, you know as well as I, that sort of thing happens all the time, whether it is a company, a school, a teacher, scientist, doctor, or a lawyer. It is always everybody that suffers for the stupidity, greed, or carelessness of the few. That just seems to be the way it is in the world. I know that many businesses are fair and honest and get unfairly saddled with blame when a few are irresponsible. Happens in every type of occupation.
      I have had to deal with osha regulations and safety committees so I know what a pain in the butt and how expensive they can be. Thanks for taking the time to describe your various frustrating experiences. I totally agree that regulations should be “realistic, fair, and achievable.” There will obviously be some back and forth of what exactly that means. For example, if there is a risk to human life, how do we balance that with those three aims? In fact, how do we determine the level of risk? If some kid is injured or dies from a ride, is it reasonable to have some regulation directed toward trying to prevent that from happening again even if it costs a few million? What if the kid was at fault? Is it worth spending on the regulation just to avoid a big law suit? Hey, I have no easy answers there but glad you do agree that some regulations are necessary. I would love to see the current administration working on making regulations more equitable for everyone. It just disturbs me to continue to read in various news sources the apparent antipathy that the current administration seems to have toward the EPA. It seems to go way beyond trying to make regulations realistic, fair and achievable. Unfortunately, it seems to be more about wholesale elimination of regulations and undermining the EPA if we can believe the news (and I try to read both conservative and liberal views). And if the idea is to replace it with something better, I sure haven’t heard anything along those lines. Thank you again for your long comment. It gives me a good perspective on what others are thinking rather than just what my small group of like-minded buddies think.

      April 22, 2017
      1. fuall

        You’re quite welcome. It’s always refreshing to engage with someone that has a serious mindset and interest in a topic rather than simply having an axe to grind.
        .
        On that topic, I think a big part of the problem for many opposed to EPA regulations in the broader sense, feel that they are allowed too much power in their regulatory process compared to other agencies with similar authority. Here’s a great explanation of their process right from the EPA:

        https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/basics-regulatory-process

        That process applies to pretty much every other regulatory department in the federal government as well, but because the regulations need to be more stringent, since their dealing with a broader scope of protection, they are seen as overly harsh, much like the FDA. But when you try to do things that big, there’s always the little things that get trampled under foot. I have to agree, at least in the execution, that there is probably a need to review how these things are done. Allowing our congress to cede this level of responsibility and authority to random federal employees is certainly a questionable practice. Just the idea that laws are passed without any specifics, and others making them later without having to go through an approval process on those specifics, is a pretty tough sell. But it shouldn’t be this way for any agency, not just the EPA. They just affect a wider scope of businesses instead of individuals in a negative way, so they (and the FDA) are prime targets for attention.
        .
        Additionally, they make generalized regulations that everyone has to comply with that are simply not sustainable for some small companies, and drives them out of business, or cripples their growth. A good, every-day example is the ADA. Even if you don’t have disabled employees, and you don’t have any disabled customers, you still have to be in compliance with ADA regulations for parking, ramp access, entry access, etc. And there are many industry specific regulations that large companies can absorb, like those expensive training courses we talked about earlier, as well as equipment and facility upgrades, and even the energy sources allowed to be used.
        .
        And there are multiple agencies creating regulations for the same things, creating confusion and additional costs. Duplicative programs and program overlap has been an ongoing issue for quite some time. “The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases an annual report on government duplication, fragmentation, and overlap. Since 2011 GAO has highlighted 440 different actions that Congress and the president could take to reduce this wasteful spending. This week, GAO released its updated report and included an additional 66 actions.”
        .
        https://www.cato.org/blog/more-duplication-government
        .
        Regulations are simply pervasive to the point that small entities drown in the red tape and debt incurred attempting to comply. And then when they can’t, the fines aren’t really proportional either, and they are done, whereas a large company (like BP or Exxon) pays the fine or fights it for years, spreading the cost out over time and continuing on in their business unimpeded.

        If we’re going to simply continue with the current practice of allowing congress to pass what are essentially ‘theoretical laws’ while leaving the actual specifics of them to random federal employees not elected to hold any office, and aren’t even going to revisit the issue upon those specifics being completed, then perhaps those detractors have a point after all and it’s time to consider something different.

        April 22, 2017
        1. strangetimes

          Those are good points. Duplicated regulations is a great point. It would certainly help reduce costs. I am not sure what you mean by “theoretical laws” and “random federal employees.”
          There are of course some regulations that can “fit” all companies regardless of size. For instance, no company should be allowed to dump organic waste solvents on the ground of their properties. As to the ADA, one needs to consider that maybe the small company doesn’t have disabled customers or employees simply because these folks realize they can not easily gain access to the company since there aren’t any ramps etc. Also, it is easy to imagine that if a small company had an exemption because they don’t have disabled customers or employees, then the company would be disinclined to hire a disabled person since then they would need to install expensive access ramps etc. so that would open the company up to discrimination charges. It isn’t an easy solution.
          The EPA has done many good things over the years And it would be a terrible tragedy if that agency were shut down or otherwise made ineffectual. Making it more efficient, great. Making regulations fair to all sizes of companies, sure. But making these changes requires a vibrantly working organization. Cutting back its funding and employees doesn’t help. That just cripples the organization. As I said, if the intention is to reorganize or rebuild the agency to make it more efficient and fair, then why hasn’t the administration and or congress said exactly that? My fear is that the current actions of the administration are simply to cripple the EPA thus freeing businesses, large or small, to do whatever they want regardless of the environmental consequences. To me, that is very scary.

          April 24, 2017
          1. fuall

            What I meant by “theoretical laws” is that they are only passing the idea of what their goal is, not the actual specifics of how that vision is achieved through regulations, statutes, rules, etc., nor do they specify what the punishments and/or fines are, or even the methods of monitoring, reporting, or enforcement. These ‘details’ are left up to those “random federal employees” that work for these individual agencies and department tasked with the oversight of their respective areas, such as the EPA. These federal employees, that were never elected to any public office, make those specific regulations, rules, statutes, etc. with no constitutional authority to do so. Nor is it technically within the powers of the congress to grant such authority to anyone outside of congress, which is another reason the elimination of several departments always has some supporters. There’s always going to be some constitutional purist out there pointing out inconvenient facts like this to make things worse instead of better. _(But they’re not wrong on the authority, according to the Constitution of the United States, and I don’t know how this came to be…yet. Not that it really matters at this point. We have to deal with what is, not what should be.)_ And once those “random federal employees” finish their task of making those rules and deciding on fines/punishments, enforcement, etc., there’s no further debate or questioning of their results. They are sent up the chain to be codified and published without needing to be reviewed or approved again by congress. This effectively translates into congress passing “theoretical laws” and allowing others to actually work it all out and come up with all the solutions.
            .
            “…if a small company had an exemption because they don’t have disabled customers or employees, then the company would be disinclined to hire a disabled person since then they would need to install expensive access ramps etc.” And how are any employees going to benefit from a business forced to close it’s doors altogether due to the financial inability to comply with overly burdensome regulations? And what exactly would be the “incentive” to hire a disabled employee after the company that couldn’t afford the upgrades in the first place is forced through regulation to do it anyway? Where does that money for a new employee come from after they have already spent more than they had to begin with on compliance? Not to mention that up to this point there were only ADA requirements for “common areas,” but hiring disabled employees will necessitate the need for all areas of your business property to be ADA compliant, creating even more expense.
            .
            “As I said, if the intention is to reorganize or rebuild the agency to make it more efficient and fair, then why hasn’t the administration and or congress said exactly that?” The current administration has stated their position. They have said their goal is to drastically reduce the amount of government regulation and have placed a requirement that every new regulation must be accompanied by the dissolution or repeal of two existing regulations. I know Trump said he’d eliminate it during the campaign, but no one except those on the extreme left ever believed this, let alone believed it to even be possible. Most rational, literate adults took this as campaign rhetoric, as all campaigns have made outrageous and specious claims throughout the history of the republic. Which is why their actual stated goal when taking office was the aforementioned 2-for-1 reduction in overall regulations, not total elimination. The only people that really get riled up over this idea of eliminating a huge federal agency are those so woefully misinformed on the complexities of government and how these things work that they believe this is actually an achievable goal. It’s not. No more so than ending the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or the Wars on Drugs and Terrorism. They’re simply too pervasive and contribute too much to the economic wellbeing of too many people and communities.
            .
            And it’s not even as though the EPA was singled out for a reduction in spending as almost all federal departments except Defense, VA, and DHS were targeted for budget reduction by (an avg.) 20%. Here’s a nifty graph:

            April 25, 2017
            1. fuall

              That’s what I get for attempting to use anything from ‘The Washington Post’! Ha-ha-ha! Here’s the link to the article with the graph:
              .
              https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-presidential-budget-2018-proposal/?utm_term=.ff901ef2a3f7

              April 25, 2017
  3. magnocrat

    I worked for a few years as a warehouse man for Marks and Spencer often unloading lorry’s at 5am in the morning. The safety gates were never used since they hindered the unloading process. One day a safety officer turned up and we had to use the cumbersome gates. It was a pantomime and a shambles we had to oil the rusty gates it must have been obvious they were never used.

    April 21, 2017
    1. strangetimes

      Thanks for commenting. Interesting story of both how regulations can be a pain to follow and so sometimes aren’t. I do know about that from my own work experiences.

      April 22, 2017
      1. magnocrat

        Often governments have to compromise between safety and allowing industry to function and in our own small way we take chances and cut corners to save time and money. In industrially advanced countries whole volumes of regulations have grown up along with experts and lawyers. The building regulations are a typical example. Its easy to pass judgement on the actions of others.

        April 22, 2017
        1. strangetimes

          makes sense

          April 23, 2017
          1. magnocrat

            Its like all things it depends what side of the fence your on. If your a builder trying to make some money the regs are a curse, but if you making an injury claim they are a
            godsend.

            April 23, 2017
            1. strangetimes

              yep, thanks for your insight

              April 24, 2017
  4. GovMisdirection

    When you wrote this with a political slant, this was not a serious question. Any solution of problems like this is ‘accountability’. The decision makers in companies are shielded from personal liability, their actions are defended with unlimited company funds, and there is no death penalty for CEOs who kill millions of people. It’s time to disallow such criminal acts against nature and considering such acts as ‘just a bad business decision’. Bribed politicians or who do not act in the best interests of the country must also share liability and punished in the harshest way. As long as allowing lawbreakers to profit from their crimes is allowed, there is no solution.

    April 21, 2017
    1. strangetimes

      Thanks for commenting. No political slant intended, just a simple question based on all the news reports from both conservative and liberal sources that the current administration is very anti-EPA and that EPA funding is being severely cut. Problems, we know about that. Since you mention about accountability, who is going to make them accountable? I just want to know what answers people have. No attacks intended, just trying to understand what the conservatives want.

      April 22, 2017
  5. wirelessguru1

    Why don’t you ask China that question since they have the most people in the world and right now they have the most dirty factories also?

    April 21, 2017
    1. strangetimes

      because I live here and am concerned about what goes on in America. it is just a simple question, not intentionally political nor is it a criticism or complaint. I just want to know what conservatives believe and what answers they have.

      April 21, 2017
      1. wirelessguru1

        I AM an independent centrist but I understand that conservatives in general just want LESS Government and LESS regulations.

        April 21, 2017
        1. strangetimes

          that’s great. so they must have some mixed feelings or concerns about what the trump administration is doing/planning to the EPA?

          April 22, 2017