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Donald the Economically Populist Dove’s Latest Blow to the Neoliberal Order

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Who needs clean water anyway?

The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens.

From Day 1 of his administration, President Trump vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation, which had frustrated rural landowners. His new rule, which will be implemented in the coming weeks, is the latest step in the Trump administration’s push to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws, loosening or eliminating rules on climate change, clean air, chemical pollution, coal mining, oil drilling and endangered species protections.

OTOH, there has been a 10% increase in Uncle Sams on stilts at demonstrations, so really 3+ years of this kind of thing along with a federal judiciary that will make reinstating the regulations difficult-to-impossible worth it!

The new water rule will remove federal protections from more than half the nation’s wetlands, and hundreds of thousands of small waterways. That wouldfor the first time in decades allow landowners and property developers to dump pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers directly into many of those waterways, and to destroy or fill in wetlands for construction projects.

“This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen,” said Blan Holman, a lawyer specializing in federal water policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.”

And while you wouldn’t have learned about this from the “left” publications who are still hallucinating an imaginary Donald Trump who ran to Hillary Clinton’s left, he spent 2016 promising he’d do this and started almost immediately. Which, given that he’s a more orthodox Reaganite than George W. Bush, isn’t remotely surprising.

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