The perspective of a southern environmental advocate

 
Hilcorp Energy pipeline leak in coastal Louisiana
Hilcorp Energy pipeline leak in coastal Louisiana.

This article is excerpted from the Summer 2017 issue of Gulf Currents, GRN's bi-annual printed newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

At a recent national gathering of environmental and conservation activists, it became very clear that my colleagues from the East, Mid-West, and West were extremely stressed and disheartened by the efforts of Congress and the White House to neutralize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and roll back environmental laws. Comparatively, most of my colleagues from the South, although disturbed, were not too phased by what was going on. Why would there be this difference in outlook?

The answer lies, I believe, in the fact that Southern states, under the leadership of either party, are already loath to regulate business or industry, particularly if there is a promise of jobs. Consequently, political pressure brought to bear on federal agencies has always made EPA’s ability to intercede on behalf of the environment in Southern states difficult. We have rarely benefited from forward thinking, environmentally protective administrations or agencies. Instead we have heard the steady drumbeat of jobs versus the environment, economic development is paramount, and energy is king. Despite the challenges we face, we’ve been able to achieve real victories – to keep our water clean, protect our wetlands, and sustain our communities – through hard work, strategic advocacy and organizing coalitions across traditional political and ideological divides.

For many of us the current administration is making environmental protection more difficult. But have faith, while the battles are becoming more challenging, the war to protect our environment and communities remains the same and we need to keep up the fight.

Tags:

Recent Posts

As with all who are following the devastation from Hurricane Michael, I’m shocked and saddened...
Written by Christian Wagley
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Many Americans have never heard of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), despite the...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Friday, 12 October 2018
The comment period closed September 6th on the “One Lake” project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Tuesday, 09 October 2018
Last month, the federal government filed new reports suggesting that the Taylor Energy oil leak,...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 04 October 2018
Gulf Restoration Network has begun a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative that will inform...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
1985 seems like a long time ago. For those who care about clean water—which is...
Written by Christian Wagley
Monday, 24 September 2018
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA)’s “Coastal Connections on the Water” event in...
Written by Kendall Dix
Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Latest Actions

SHARE THIS PAGE