I read that reporters at the New York Times took off their shoes and socks and counted, on their fingers and toes, 84 ways the Trump Administration is worsening pollution in America.

A long time ago, back in the 1960s when I was an editor at Business Week magazine in New York, I lived in a nice New Jersey town called Matawan and rode up the Jersey coast on the train every day. Once the train crossed the Raritan River at Perth Amboy, I saw the sky darken under the clouds of air pollution that chemical plants and oil refineries were shooting up over the crowded cities of Elizabeth and Bayonne. I still remember how the air coming through the train’s open windows stank and hurt my eyes.

During that time I wrote, for the cover of Business Week, an article about air pollution that began with the words, “The air over Pittsburgh is a witches’ brew of carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and many ladles of other nasty things.”

As a product of the world’s largest steel industry in those years, Pittsburgh ranked with Elizabeth and Bayonne, high among U.S. cities with the most unbreathable air; but, partly because of the eastward drift of Bayonne’s smog, New York — where I was working — actually ranked first, with the largest population and the worst air among all U.S. cities.

God knows how many thousands in those cities died because of pollution, but a study even years later, in 1990, counted 135,000 attributable deaths a year, wheezing and coughing, nationwide.

The war on pollution finally started at the end of 1970, when President Richard Nixon created the federal Environmental Protection Agency and pollution rules grew teeth. Between 1980 and 2017, when Donald Trump entered the White House, the poisons I had named in my article decreased in the air around us by 67%.

And it was the air pollution regulations that did it. Everything else in our world grew by leaps and bounds during that time. The number of miles we were traveling on our roads increased 110%, our energy consumption increased 25%, even the number of men, women and children among us skyrocketed by 44%.

When Trump became president he looked at the good things that had happened, said it was bad, and, always wanting to make a buck for himself and his friends — that is to say Big Business — he began slashing away at the safety regulations that had saved us.

Yes, and not only air pollution regulations. He diluted a rule from the 1990s that put a lid on major industrial polluters, like the ones I saw years ago in New Jersey. He and his cronies have been bent on eliminating regulations that prevented polluters from dumping stuff in our water and putting greenhouse gases in our air conditioners and refrigerators. Trump’s pollution giveaways will shoot greenhouse gases into the gray skies over us and lead to thousands of extra deaths from worse air quality, bringing back the bad old days that I saw when I was young.

It’s summer, so if the clouds look darker over you, it’s because Trump’s allowing refineries to put more ethanol in your gasoline; the higher amount makes more smog in hot weather.

And all of his 84 cuts in pollution regulations are designed to make billions more for Big Business.

Yet, poor guy, despite Trump’s swinging away with his machete, he can’t please everyone. Seventeen automakers sent him a letter last week, because his plan to weaken regulations protecting us from car and truck smoke would cut their profits — the automakers would need to make different cars and trucks for different states that have stricter air pollution regulations. No more one size fits all.

What’s a guy to do?

Bomboy has written for more than 60 national magazines and is the author of six books.

(1) comment

Schreff

Whenever I need a good laugh, I read Bomboy. His articles are usually just Fake News spiced up with a little Trump Hate but this one wins the Pulitzer for Propaganda. The true pity is that many folks still believe journalism is alive and well instead of dead. They believe that these opinion pieces contain facts and not blatant lies. The economy is booming not only because of big business but because of small businesses flourishing or starting up. Why? Because of the over regulations of Big Brother which is the federal, state and local governments also known as the Swamps. Doesn't this guy get it? He also cities death by pollution as if it were only a problem of de-regulation and only in Pennsylvania. Nonsense filled with stupidity. Look at CA, without a doubt the most liberal socialists state in our USA. Think about pollution in LA, San Fran, Oakland, San Diego,NYC, Chicago, Seattle, and other cities run by radical far left socialist who have more regulations than anywhere in the world. No pollution right Bomboy? This along with no problems with the homeless, crime, and illegal aliens. And just think Bomboy, these cities have lower taxes than we do. Come on, this is the type of article that is destroying the minds of our youth and those who actually believe in the media. It is time that the many reputable journalists to either stop dividing this nation by the use of propaganda and lying about pollution not ending the world in 12 years or kill all the cows and other animals emitting gas (would this include humans?) , ban all vehicles, make smoking all things illegal, ban all plastics, cell phones, stop heating our homes and businesses ban watching TV and shut down every industry that produces anything closely hurting our environment, If and or when a socialist is elected president, our economy will cease to exist and we will return to the Stone Age in the name of survival. Then Bomboy can write about how great the world of socialism is.

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