As a self-declared environmentalist with absolutely no ties to big oil, I’ve been troubled by news articles falsely claiming that the current administration’s environmental rollbacks hurt average Americans while benefiting big business—that couldn’t be further from the truth!
So, as someone who once hugged a tree on a dare, let me break down some of the biggest myths about so-called environmental protections.
Myth: Clean Water is Good
Truth: Clean Water Kills Innovation
Clean water might sound nice to drink, but it’s a nation-killer. Already, the US has fallen behind on the most important technology of the next few decades: water desalinization. When wars are fought over water instead of oil (or both if we are lucky), you’ll want to live in a country that doubled down on this expensive, totally inefficient technology. Sure, maybe your water bill will skyrocket.
And yes, you could have avoided both that added expense and sending soldiers halfway around the world to secure increasingly fragile waterways if you had worked with an international coalition to reduce pollutants in rivers and lakes, but that’s not really the scenario you envisioned during the war-game you played while getting your MBA.
Myth: Clean Air is Nice to Breathe
Truth: Clean Air Steals Jobs
Let’s focus on the economic externalities of using wind and solar power instead of patriotic, dirty American coal. While economists with their fancy TI-83 calculators claim that moving to clean energy is good for the economy, all you have to do is ask a doctor—particularly asthma doctors. If there’s not enough pollution in the air to do serious damage to your lungs, doctors will suddenly find themselves out of work. And healthcare makes up almost 20% of America’s GDP. Follow the logic here and clean air will wipe out the economic gains we’ve made over the past decade, your doctor will die, you’ll lose your job, and with that high deductible healthcare plan you choose, you won’t be able to afford an inhaler for your kid.
Myth: Fuel Efficiency Saves Money
Truth: Fuel Efficiency Makes You Poor
A previous administration (I forget which one) set wimpy, European-style goals to improve fuel efficiency standards by 5% by 2026, but these have been slashed to a more relatable number: 1.5%, about the same bump as COLA—the cost of living adjustment your boss is required to give you instead of the 10% raise you deserve. When oil prices go negative again (like they did in April), gas stations will pay YOU to fill up your gas-guzzling SUV (please don’t fact check that).
Without this brave de-regulation, you’d use less gas in your car, meaning you’d make less money. Without that extra cash in your wallet, how are you planning on paying your exorbitant water bill? Fuel efficiency is for foreigners, not Americans!
Myth: Clean Power Saves Lives
Truth: Clean Power Makes America Weak
Speaking of foreigners, the clean power plan would have ruined our supremacy in carbon emissions. Do you want to tell your kids that you let China best us in what has traditionally been America’s strong point: polluting and allowing for “both sides of the argument” when only one side uses actual science?
Myth: Consumer Product Energy Efficiency Standards are a No-Brainer
Truth: Efficiency Standards Are Boring
I mean, just saying consumer product energy efficiency standards puts me to sleep. If it was something like, super-hot light bulbs help you lose 30 pounds, then maybe we could get America on-board. But toilets that use less water? How many times do I have to say this: dirty water is good for America. The more water we put through our toilets, the less water our enemies will have! But that’s not the ONLY reason.
When I see one of those annoying energy stars on a new washing machine or refrigerator, I can’t think about all the money I’m going to save on my power bill. Instead, all I can think about is how commies are regulating my freedoms away—if I want to spend $1,000 a month on unnecessary power from coal fired power plants that pollutes the air and discharges nasty chemicals into nearby water streams, that’s my right as an American!
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