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Poll: The role of the EPA

Is the EPA doing enough to protect us? Or is it doing too much, burdening us with regulations?

Where do you stand on the EPA?

View Results

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  • Sally C

    The EPA is clearly hampered by too limited a mandate.
    The question not asked the gentleman from the tea party is -  if your employees, or people who live where you manufacture are negatively effected by chemicals what is their recourse?  Since many of the effects are felt years later there is nothing to stop companies from pursuing short term economic benefit by using chemicals that seem to be miracles, but may be untested and have serious negative effects.
    There should be clear requirements to test and certify new chemicals before they are used indiscriminately.
    Isn’t this what went wrong with the financial industry?  New products created and used indiscriminately before their effects were fully understood? 

  • Susan

    There is a connection between the quality of our air and water (and food, too)–and jobs/economy.  The intermediate factor is our health.  The job-creators and consumers are both struggling with the cost of health care. Safe air, water, and food are huge factors in our health.   It’s far better to be healthy in the first place than to cope with cancer, asthma, or any other health breakdown, whether you are well insured or not.

  • rdro

    I don’t like any of the polling choices as they appear to be designed to make a simple answer to a complex problem. I think the EPA is probably necessary but I would be willing to bet it is being far too influenced by Governement and Politics. If we could somehow reduce those influnences and reform polices that have proven not to work we might be a whole lot further ahead.

  • Lou

    If the EPA would error,  I would have them error on the side of safety.

  • Anonymous

    Koch brothers = Freedom Works.  More interested in making money than
    protecting the environment in the public interest.

  • dave2012

    Of course, a streamlined regulatory set of laws would be great. The “ideal world” mentioned by the guest, and perhaps millions around the world, doesn’t exist. Private motivation to act fair and benevolent, so that common law would work is simply wishful thinking. Add to this the organized efforts by companies and individual to subvert any concept of sustainability, and no wonder the EPA ended up swatting flies with legislation that seems to undermine understanding to common folk.

    So yes, simplified conservation principles would be nice, but because organized efforts have also sought to undermine education such that technical papers pro conservation biology can’t permeate minds, the issues get divisive and laws become weak.

    The EPA must continue to educate the public more effectively – starting with localities, and call out the business intent on confusing matters.

  • Cinematika

    To all other PBS fans – We are such a minority of the population. I wonder how much weight our opinion has in political and industrial circles. My wife and I  have no significant financial resources nor any political influence, but, once a semester we prepare an environmental education event for the children at our son’s preschool. We prepare experiments, write and illustrate stories, et al. Now if the EPA is tea partied into oblivion, we will be at the mercy of the mercenaries who will kill and destroy for profit. How much weight do we have? I don’t know.

  • kellyinpgh

    The warnings coming out of the marine research community in regard to ocean adicification are, in a word, disturbing. This is only one reason the EPA needs free reign to do its job. In addition, the Republican idea the you have to choose between economy or environment is a criminal myth. The late Ray Anderson’s company, Interface Flooring, is proving that you can be profitable AND protect the environment. The company is on track to achieve ZERO envirnmental impact by 2020. This is the kind of positive vision America needs more of.

  • concerned

    I think Koch brothers = Freedom Works is foolish.  Wall street and multinational corporations are the new government and I for one don’t like it.  They want to reduce the regulations that protect us all to those of a third world nation.  All in the name of profit.  If people payed attention to the environmental state of the world, they would be shocked.  It’s completely unsustainable.

  • Stephen H

    The EPA is hogtied by big business,big money and the chemical industry.  If the tea party had its way mountains of body bags would determine if regulations were needed to protect the still living. Anybody remember love canal,or asbestos, or benzine and on and on. We need the EPA now more than ever. Our children’s children and their quality of life depend on our actions that we make now,we cannot turn our backs to these issues and think someone else will solve these problems.  We can’t afford to sit idly by and hope things turn out for the best. We need a stronger EPA NOW!!!

  • statrat

    The polling choices are, indeed, poorly constructed.  An acceptable set of response options to a question such as the one posed must be exhaustive and mutually exclusive.  The options given are mutually exclusive but not exhaustive.  To make the measure exhaustive requires the addition of a response option such as, “The EPA should issue the same number of regulations as in the past,” or something to that effect.  “rdro” might recommend an “Other, please explain” response so s/he and others with the necessary expertise could contribute complex responses.

    That said, I’m having trouble imagining how the EPA can be “far too influenced by Governement [sic] and Politics” when it is a government regulatory agency with a politically appointed head. 

  • Mberends

    Why bury this poll within the environmental page?  Not even prominently displayed there - I had to hunt for it…what, don’t you want people to participate in your poll?

  • Bode

    If we believe industry that litigation were the limiter to abuse and not regulation, then I guess industry is not represented by a horde of lawyers and bought experts,  clouding the issues and delaying for years till the plaintiffs die off. everytime disbanding the EPA is brought up they should play it against stock footage of LA during the 60s

  • guest

    the EPA is influenced by the person in charge, appointed by the person we elect.  there is no way to make it perfect because people run it.  the only thing worse is to abandon it.

  • Kenneth

    Thank you so much for your in-depth feature on the EPA. Presumably, like many other Americans, I had no idea that there were over 60,000 chemicals grandfathered into The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Our nation’s political and legislative leaders unwarranted attack on the EPA is both outrageous and shameful. Thanks again Need to Know for taking off the blindfold on this very important issue.

  • Eric

    How many dollars is a healthy child worth? For so-called Tea Partiers and the Neo-Conservative GOP, claims that regulation will destroy jobs raises the most obvious question, which NO ONE is asking: “Why are jobs that result in childrens deaths and illnesses protected from the laws that apply to us as individuals?”

  • Joanhashi

    I believe the EPA is essential to public safety. Evidence the many more cases of regional cancers as presented in this program, childhood asthmas, food intolerances in all age groups. Illnesses are with us today and their origins are not clear. The great suspicion is that they have environmental causes. How much poorer would our air and water quality be without the EPA? I hope we never have to find out. Thanks for presenting this informative program.

  • MG

    Boy, we’d better have an EPA, and we’d better fund it, too, better than it is now.  I was like many who thought the “government” was looking out for us, until I discovered I was dreaming, and that even if EPA scientists see something wrong, their hands are usually tied when it comes to being able to do something about it.  Many are watching helplessly as environmental disasters unfold, disasters sometimes championed by former federal agency colleagues who flipped sides and went to work for industry, throwing all morality out the window. 

    We are teetering on the edge environmentally as it is.  Do away with EPA?—you’ve got to be kidding. We need it more than ever.

  • independent thinker in MA

    The Freedom Watch speaker tells us that corporations do not need the EPA’s strict standards because they will have the natural inclination to “keep their customers safe”. The problem with that is that a computer company like IBM does not have its neigbors/workers as customers. Energy companies do not consider a few neighbors in MA the customers that they need to “keep safe” to protect their livelihood. I found this Tea Party activist’s arguments specious at best. If that is who their spokesperson is and these are their arguments, they really do not care about the American people and doing what is right. In fact, his view of science being faulty begs the questions of what he thinks of the theory of evolution and evidence on global warming. You know, those scientists make alot of mistakes….spare me.

  • Pmaier

    The first code of ethics of every profession is to act in the interest of the general public. IF all professionals would act accordingly we would not need regulations, but sadly regulations often give professionals an excuse that when something is not regulated, they do not have to adhere to their own code of ethics. Of course there always is and will be the argument that one did not know, but at least that argument should not any longer be used when problems occur that are not in the interest of the general public, especially not public health.Still we always hear the cost/benefit arguments made by professionals, an analysis clearly in violation of their own codes of ethics, when a cost is assigned to an action that is not in the interest of the general public. There also always will be the excuse that something is okay if everybody else is doing it, even if it is wrong.
    The EPA failed to implement the Clean Water Act, because everybody was using an essential pollution test incorrectly and ignored 60% of the pollution in sewage Congress intended to ‘treat’. Nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste is among this waste, while this waste besides exerting an oxygen demand also is a fertilizer for algae, thus contributes to eutrophication often resulting in dead zones, we now experience in nearly all our open waters. Even tough EPA has been aware of this faulty testing since 1983, the test is still not corrected, because everybody uses the test incorrectly.In a recent White House petition titled: “Stop using rivers as urinals and force the EPA to implement the CWA as intended”, the administration is asked to correct this test, To read and sign the petition click on and force those working in the government to adhere to their professional codes of ethics.

  • Tom

    EPA has been issuing regulations since 1972 and at first the regulations righted unquestionable environmental wrongs, The quality of our air and water has most definitely increased. Over the 40 years since 1972  the benefits of tightening restictions on how humans affect the environment have progressively decreased but within EPA the urge to regulate remains very strong because that is the path to career advancement.  The nation would benefit from a cooling off period where no new regulations would be issued. If a national cry among citizens other than environmental groups arose to fix something so be it but no regulations would arise only from ferver among EPA employees,

  • Benny

    Humen capital vs finencial capital?? Only from the tea party

  • Anonymous

    Great presentation……….but we didn’t put enough pressure on the culprits.    Kibbe’s basic argument is that capitalists can’t provide jobs if they are discouraged from using the lives of employees and local residents as ‘canarys in the coal mine’ to detect and verify faults in industrial processes………… worst (they imply) it may only result in a few deaths and disabilities and that’s the cost that society pays to make capitalists rich (I do get the idea that there may be side benefits for society, but a cost is a cost and ALL of the costs should be priced in!).

    The words callus, crass, and ludicrous come to mind!    

    We need intelligent EPA regulation, and we should always try to err on the side of human safety (including environmental safety).     When there is not enough information available to make a definitive decision, the capital enterprise is granted ’the benefit of the doubt’ for some new, questionable process, it should agree up-front to take responsibility for after-effects that may impact either the environment, the people, or both for at least a generation.     This might give pause to the desire to experiment with human lives, and it may encourage the development of new and better ways to pursue the ‘up-front’ information that we need to proceed safely.    

    We may be surprised to find out that when we look for solutions to problems we generate jobs and solutions that improve both the economy and our industrial processes………even if it does temporarily delay the next Koch billion in profits  :-)

    There may well be cases where we need to make ‘trade-offs’ for the greater social good, but they should be carefully formulated, fully disclosed to all involved, and we should be prepared as a society to manage any necessary cleanup.     Call it the new, revised “Contract for America”.  

    Yea, yea, it’s onerous for business, but business is ultimately there to serve people.    The Republican idea that the business serves only itself and those who profit directly seems to be both a dangerous idea, and one that denegrates the value and integrity of our species.

  • Pascal Zandt

    Corporations, left to themselves, will always attempt to maximize profits. And, if history in any indication, corporations will do whatever they must in order to achieve the maximization of profits, even if it means damaging our resources, polluting our environment, and killing people. Look at Ford and the Pinto, the pharmaceutical industry, and all the toxic sites we have today. And then you have those that say less government and regulation? C’mon, must we all contract cancer before we wake up?

  • Micshu70

    As usual, conservatives are placing money over public health and safety.  They are more concerned with the Corporate bottom line and shareholder value than with the public well being, health and welfare.  As long as corporations rule this country we are all at risk of debilitating illness and early death,  The EPA needs to be strengthened and enforcement increased.


  • Mark

    This program ended with the reporter giving an impassioned little speech about how government regulation makes our lives better and how terrible it would be to roll that back. It was immediately followed by an ad for a program about prohibition by Ken Burns, in which the narrator plaintively asks, “How the ### did that happen? How does a freedom-loving people decide in one crazed moment that we can tell people how to live their lives?” Well Mr Burns, this is how it happens: When self-righteous, self-important people think that they know better than everyone else, and that they have the right, no, the duty, to FORCE everyone else to live the way they say, for their own good. Then anything good that happens, they claim credit for, and anything bad that happens, they refuse to accept responsibility and instead insist it is the fault of the evil and ignorant people who resist their benevolent rule.

  • Denise Barry

    One of the sad things I have seen is the lack of education about products and chemicals among all people.  I have been lecturing about several products for more than 3 years. Many people have thanked me when they stop buying the products I lecture about. I find it discusting that no matter how many people I contact, I can not get these products removed from the market.  Yet “litteraly” hundreds of people have stopped purchasing the products I speak about.  They feel much better when they do stop buying these things.  Yet I can not get our congressmen or senators to do anythilng about the loophole in our law that allow these products to be sold legally…. 

  • Fhudsonmiller

    Those who run companies that wish less or no regulation should be required to live in the toxic waste sites they have created.  See how long it would take them to change their tune!

  • Renee Selden

    Some of the problems attributed to aging have been caused by the lack of EPA strict controls.  Our controls of the medicines we take is not always without problems.  How many of these drugs have been withdrawn in the last few years?  it’s not always comfortable to take a doctor recommended new drug . We are a bit tired of being treated as Lab rats.

  • Lary

    It is truly amazing that we are having discussions on the value regulation immediately following the catastrophic loss of MILLIONS of jobs precisely because of the dismantling of regulation: the Glass-Stegal Act. Even the bastion of free market unfettered capitalism, the Chicago School of economics, has capitulated to the realization that markets do not adequately self-regulate.

  • HariAtma

    It is appalling that this program depicts very clearly a whole neighborhood that is cancer ridden  due to tricholoethylene and yet their is a question for or against the EPA. Wake up folks! Yes it does need even more regulation now than before. How could this be negative for the economy, other than that chemical possibly, hopefully will not be used. It could create more jobs with the regulation of chemicals, with the EPA. Brainstorming different ways of doing something could also help the economy.

  • Burton Farber

    Why does “Need to Know” have a commentator that, just because he had cancer (his word), believes that he is proof that the EPA is unnecessary? I’m a 94 year old scientist who has been in remission for 20 years which proves nothing about whether or not we need governmental oversight regarding activities and processed that are damaging to the public health. Would that fellow supply his drinking water from a stream that has been polluted with industrial chemicals from plating processes and maybe upstream pollution from a sewer? If we are going to be satisfied trusting reactionaries instead of science, then the end is near!

  • Marblemount

    I don’t watch a lot television but happened to see this episode. Now I understand why some want to pull government funding for PBS. Will Sally Struthers have a segment next week followed by a choreographed and slanted interview, topped off by an editorial praising a political ideology?  

  • Gloria

    Did you miss the comments from the rep from Freedom Works, a decidedly right wing organization? This was certainly more fair and balanced that anything I have ever heard on Faux News.

  • Stephen A. Smalley

    Mark, it sounds to me like you are describing the behavior of those people who are against responsible regulation, and NOT those people who are for it,

  • Evsavarin

    The idea of reducing  EPA regulations even to the most financially selfish mind is endemic of a country that has lost all manner of reason, sanity and direction.  How can one conceivably believe that a couple thousand or more a month in a job can possibly balance out hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs, lost wages from illness, not to mention rising health insurance costs because rising sick population, increase government payments to medicare, medicade and disability payments, and reduced property value from poisoned water or ground.  Reducing EPA regulations is totally contradictory to policies for creating greater preventive medical practices and lifestyle.

    A sick country can and will never be an economically viable and financially sound country. 

    To think we have over 8500 chemicals in our environment that no one knows a thing about is a disgrace. We have NO right to call ourselves an advance culture. – probably more like a primitive third world country. 

    We desperately need to continue this whole conversation and coverage on the role of EPA and Toxins in our environment. We need to know alot more of what Toxins there are, what products they are found in, where are they manufactured, how are they disposed, and where would we find them in the environment.
    WHy was ‘Need to Know’ sidelined from its prime time of one hour at 9:00 PM to an overlooked time of  7:30 PM. 

    It is a disgrace that all provocative shows on PBS such as ’Need to know’  that address the Corporate malfeasance and manipulation of this  country are being marginalized or eliminated and replaced by more infotania, sensational  and neutered programming on PBS.

     Will ‘Need to Know’s provocative investigations go the way of Bill Moyer, David Brancachio and Frontline’s older format in its willingness to investigate the powers that be.
    It certainly seems from the programming I am seeing more and more on PBS your Board of Directors is being taken over by Right Wing politics and the Neutered media. I really grieve for my grandchildren’s future when no one is left to speak truth to power.

  • Gloria

    And while no new regulations are being issued the chemical companies continue to engineer new molecules every week! While they may carefully study the uses of the compound they will not spend any time investigating the impact on humans unless they are required to do so. If you have to wait for actual harm to be done to prove that a substance is dangerous, what justice is there for the individual harmed? Are you incapable of imaging that something like this could happen to you or a loved one or do you simply not care?

  • Gloria

    Never underestimate the power of a small group in the marketplace! At this time the Slow Food/whole food/health food/locovore “movement” in the US amounts to about 3% of the food market. In spite of that small percentage of market share, ADM and ConAgra and Monsanto have taken notice of this are actively entering that marketplace. If the only thing that the corporations understand is money THAN VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET!! Do not purchase products from companies that don’t support your values and let them know why. And continue your good work in the preschool; never underestimate the importance of what you are doing. DISPAIR IS NOT AN OPTION!

  • Suecaspari

    I am just glad that KOCE Orange County, CA recently began to carry Need to Know, in an 8:30 PM Pacific Friday timeslot.  I had not seen Need to Know since my former PBS station, KCET Los Angeles, dropped out of the PBS system on January 1st.  I also wish that Need to Know had a full hour.  This is exactly what happened to “NOW” after Bill Moyers left the program.  It lost some of its funding and lost its studio space and went “on the road” with a 30 minute show until it was cancelled.  I was incensed that Matt Kibbe suggested that EPA is not needed and “common law” remedies should be enough.  The Hollywood film version of “A Civil Action” showed that that won’t work.  Kibbe’s Freedomworks beats the drum for “Tort Reform,” which means making it more difficult for injured plaintiffs to sue for injuries, by making it harder to bring class actions and limiting the amount of punitive damages that can be assessed against corporate defendants.  The whole idea of the EPA is to prevent injuries before they happen.  Tort suits cannot do that–they require that someone be injured first.  Government regulation also levels the playing field among competing companies to the extent that dangerous shortcuts and dumping of untreated waste (economic externalities) is prevented.  I am glad we finally have an EPA Administrator who has a master’s degree in chemical engineering and grew up in “chemical alley” in southern Louisiana, but the politicians are still preventing EPA from being as effective as it could be.  The result is more injured people trying to find lawyers to take their cases on contingency, and crowding at the courthouses, especially the federal courthouses, where judicial vacancies continue as Republicans refuse to confirm Pres. Obama’s judicial nominees.

  • Kreddy

    This poll was written by an idiot. Nice job PBS.

  • Suecaspari

    Prohibition of manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages is not analogous to prohibiting dumping of cancer causing chemicals into the soil, water and air.  That is argument by absurdity.  There are certain wrongs that should be prohibited  and certain hazardous activities that should be regulated.  The mistake was prohibiting sale of alcoholic beverages when the correct course was to regulate their manufacture and sale so that they were not made with poisonous wood alcohol and so that they were not served to children.  The type of regulation should be narrowly tailored to the type of risk involved.  The reporter, Dr. Emily Senay, is a medical doctor, so she reported the story from a public health perspective.  Had she been an economist or a corporate chemist, she might have reported the story from a different angle.

  • rdro

    Perhaps something more along the lines of an Independant agency is what I was thinking of. I know that too would be controversial but from personal experience the EPA is flawed and doesn’t really serve it’s intended purposes as well as it should. SO — if I would have to choose from the polling questions I would have to choose get rid of the EPA but my wish would be to create something that works BETTER.

  • Guest

    He didn’t state his survival as proof of anything except his empathy with the concerns.

    He did not say not to trust science, just not to blindly trust government.  If you think the government will always employ only the finest scientific method when making decisions (Solyndra, as a case in point), you should get out from under the hood.

    Though I believe Glenn Beck to be a fool, I am not foolish enough to automatically discount a spokesman from FreedomWorks just because of that association.

    The gentleman’s statement regarding protecting private property rights was spot on.  If government would simply focus on that, rather than playing favorites (R’s and D’s both do it, and it is most of both groups with their hands in the till) based on campaign donations or pet projects for their district, massive regulatory organizations would not be deemed necessary, as the effect of the graft they seek to balance would have been eliminated.

  • Anonymous

    The poll questions are not the best but the jist is are you for or against the EPA doing their job. I for one cannot trust the money interests to ever have second thoughts about polutting when there are profits to protect. Now add the scary Tea Party types that are trying to destroy this country like Matt Kibbe the future of our water, air and food is threatened. Who coesn’t want clean, safe water, air and food? Matt couldn’t give one specific problem with the EPA but that is the whole problem with these talking heads with no substance just Glen Beck buzz words.

  • Anonymous

    I worked for IBM for more than 3 decades. Until, they forced me and thousands of older workers out with “downsizing” schemes to prevent us from collecting our projected full pension. I figure IBM stole half my Pension and now supported by the book “Retirement Heist” by Schultz. But that is a different subject.

    Back in the mid 1960′s IBM’s cleaner of choice that we, servicing IBM Computers and Office Equipment,  carried with us and worked with every day was “Trichloroethylene”. Every Service person at IBM, more than 50,000, carried the”Gold Can Cleaner” into offices around the world servicing IBM computers and typewriters. The fumes were in all the offices we visited.

     I had a particularly dirty job, a machine that came out of a West Virginia Coal mine and was covered  with a black residue. The machine was a “bargain” buy for the new customer but my job was to get teh machine to work. The first act was to get it clean. I used about two Gallons of the Gold Can Cleaner. I was working in a windowless room and one entry, with air conditioning fans in the ceiling. I began to get woozing from the fumes. On the can the words “work in a ventilated area” but no mention of restriction as far as contact with skin or breathing it. IBM says that it was “No health Problem”.

    After using about a Gallon of the “Gold Can” cleaner (named because it was in an IBM logo Gold colored can), I noticed the “vapors” along the floor (heavier than air) and it was like a stream of water. I could see it flowing out the entry into other areas of the building’s offices, about a foot along the floor like a “running stream”. The fumes were trying to find an exit and forced down to the floor because the chemical was heavier than air. The method of cleaning was “soak a rag “with the Gold Can” and remove the gunk with my handsd. My fingers usually turned white and wrinkled like staying in a swimming pool too long.

    For a decade, I used it “Every day” in about 7 or 8 different Offices of customers. The typewriter servicers(20 million typewriters) combined soap and the “gold can cleaner”. All of us, about 50,000 carried the “Gold Can” into customers offices every day..

    It was in the mid 70′s after over a decade of use, I transferred to another job and was no longer exposed to the “Gold Can” cleaner but it was continued. So far so good, no cancer but the “Gold Can” cleaner is always in the back of my mind, making me more susceptable to Cancer.

    I remember when I was a kid, I used Carbon Techtechloride to clean electronics but eventually that was banned as cancer causing and blindness

    Recently, I came across information where a nuclear facility labratory had listed 1501 known substances that could cause cancer and other diseases of the nuclear workers there, I was amazed, 1501 agents of various chemicals and compounds could kill the employees at that facility.

    Over the years, many of us, who used IBM Gold Can, died. The disturibing observation was that they were in their mid 50′s with strokes and brain tumors.

    I think the Republican Presidential Candidates need to visit Montana and see the gravel mounds of rock from gold dredges of the early 20th Century ruining the streams and no money to fix them. Perhaps refer to NIOSH web sites to see the toxic elements that government workers fact to keep their butts safe, like the 600,000 workers since the 1940′s. 40,000 families were awarded settlements for toxic exposure of the 600,000 and 40,000 still pending. Perhaps the critics of the EPA need to read “Silent Spring” by Carson. How about “Round up” now unable to kill toxic weeds because the weeds have mutated. How about Monsanto, who has taken control of the Corn Crop Industry as a monopoly and sue if some of their “hybrid” corn winds up in a farmers field. How about all the deaths in India by Dupont years ago where the chemicals used in battery manufacture fumes killed so many?

    I can only conclude the anti-EPA rhetoric is more “Corporate for PROFIT spin and to heck with the health of the workers and the Public” as they, Corporate Executives, do not live close to any chemical exposure in the mansions on the hill..

    The other day, I talked to a guy in Louisana, elderly, who signed a lease for “gas fracturing” being assured that his land and water would be OK. Well today, he cannot drink his water. Gas and other contaminents are leaking into his well water and he has to travel 15 miles for drinking water. Fracturing the rock, thousands of feet below is causing seepage of contamination into the water tables. The fellow feels he was lied to and sorry he signed the lease. He has no drinkable water from his well.

    In your story, you showed the “IBM fix” to Trichloroethylene fums. It appears that there are fans running to take the vapors out of the home’s basements. I kind of chuckled as I saw the pipe leading to the top of the roof. Remember, IBM “Gold Can”  trichloroethylene cleaner is “heavier than air”. Releasing the fumes in the air will just float around and settle in the neighbors back yard.

    If the Republicans take over Congress, as the Presidential candidates are signalling, the EPA will be underfunded to regulate anything like the Republican Controlled house is doing to the SEC, CFTC, FBI and the New Consumer Advocate Agency that Elizabeth Warren pioneered to make sure, the good ol days will return, unlimited exploitation of our environment for PROFIT with little or no regard to the safety and the future environment for our kids and grandkids..

    We need to remember, “We all inhabit this Blue Marble and we need to take care of it as their really is no other place we can go” We have to preserve this spec in space  for generations to come, unfortunately, we have people who worship money and could care less about the land or environment for future generations.

    We need a strong EPA. There is no compromise when it comes to health. The EPA has done a pretty good job I think. I remember Acid Rain, no fish in beautiful streams. The rivers in Ohio that were dead.

    Corporations will NOT Compromise and be responsible without regulation.

     The “Let the Market decide crap is just that, Crap”. 

  • Anonymous

    You bet he is. All this anti-EPA is originating from the Koch brothers who pays his check at Freedom Works, what an Oxymoron.

  • Anonymous

    Just when did you come to the conclusion that money making enterprises acted benevolently with your best interests at heart which is what you are saying. Business has one prime directive: Make a profit. Whatever that takes. This also includes keep doing what ever is provideing that profit. There is no altruistic motives except in comercials to sell the product: expand the profit source. So what do you think stands between your quality of life and corporate greed? If corporations were concerned we would not need government. Corporations are not concerned because they don’t live in the areas they polute. 

  • Anonymous

    regulation, whether EPA, FAA, or FDA, is created and maintained for the benefit
    of the industry being regulated. 
    Regulations are written by the industry.  Regulations give industry a shield to hide behind.  If industry follows the rules they have
    created, they are safe from liabilities. 
    If you were the American Chemical Society, would you rather lobby the US
    EPA or fifty state EPAs?  There is
    a reason why California was able to name TCE a carcinogen years ago.  As political as California’s Air Resources Board is, it is still able to resist the influence of lobbying dollars better
    than the EPA because it is structured to be less dependent on industry than the

    If we
    had fifty EPAs, there would be a broad range of regulatory environments, and
    data would accumulate quickly about which ones work and which ones don’t.  That would be fifty laboratories trying
    to solve the same problem, from which the best solutions could rise to the top
    and could be copied by those that didn’t work so well.  As it is, we have just laboratory—the
    US EPA—and it is defined as being the right solution.  And that is exactly what the industry wants.  Federal regulation rarely works—except for the industry. 

    the writers and ratifiers of the US Constitution understood this principle much
    better than we do today.  They put
    education, health, labor, housing, agriculture, and social services outside the
    jurisdiction of the Federal Government but within the jurisdiction of the States.  We have chosen to reverse that wisdom,
    and we have an overwhelming federal regulatory system that largely does not
    work.  The wisdom of the Colonial
    Era was that Americans—to the extent that they would be governed at all—desired
    the governing to be as close to home as possible.  If we returned to that philosophy today, we would empower
    the states to regulate the way the people of those states desired; and there
    would be true competition of ideas among the states instead of the top-down
    authority of one political body.

  • Anonymous

    You belive there is no problems with the environment and no need for EPA. Jeez I guess the BP oil spill was a hoax. The fracking gas drilling polutting urban water supplies is urban legend. Cars and factories  no longer put exaust into the air. Lettuce and cantelopes really weren’t found with dangerous lysteria contamination. There is no more fear of China imports with contaminations including toxic sheet rock used in our homes here. You really believe there is a group of people that relish writing regulations? It is not a fun job.  

  • RetiredOnLake

    I watched the Need to Know program yesterday evening with great interest and concluded that it was a very good snapshot (but the program was too short) of the situation facing EPA regarding the TSCA law that is mandated to regulate chemicals. If I may, I would like to give some experiences re. TSCA from down in the “trenches.” 

    I am a retired Federal employee, who spent over 24 years in the EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics in Washington, DC.  I was first involved with TSCA in the mid-80s.  Right away it became obvious that there were challenges and “problems” with implementing TSCA as passed by Congress in 1976.  Much time was spent in trying to develop policies to carry out the requirements of TSCA, and the science supporting these policies.  Had TSCA been written differently, many problems would have been avoided.  Nevertheless, we lived with these problems and limitations.  A number of chemicals were reviewed while I was at EPA, some quickly, others over several years, and some repeatedly over the years as new information became available, or interest in them increased or decreased. 

    Many chemicals had only very limited or no information on ecological effects, human health effects, fate, and exposure.  Thus, it was necessary to develop elaborate flow charts, testing schemes, and test guidelines to determine the hazard and risk of chemicals.  As the PBS show indicated, the burden was on the Agency to use all these policies and schemes to prove that a chemical was or was not toxic, hazardous, and had environmental risk.  I worked with a lot of dedicated, well qualified scientists who strove to protect the environment from toxic chemicals.  Sometimes we succeded, but at other times it was impossible to make a definitive determination, or to take any action.  Regulation (in the sense of restricting or banning something) of a few chemicals was sometimes possible, and this was based, in part, on requirements and provisions in TSCA.  A number of other chemicals were regulated by placing more limited restrictions on them, for example, if the future production of a chemical reached a certain level, something else was triggered.

    Regulation by EPA was used as a carrot and stick to “encourage” chemical companies to comply with TSCA, and this mechanism became successful to a certain extent.  In the 1990′s pollution prevention became all the rage and served as a supplement to TSCA.  Companies found it was often more advantageous to follow this path. 

    Based on my experiences, reform or replacement of TSCA is necessary and long overdue.  Thousands of chemicals need to be reviewed in a more efficient and productive manner than with TSCA.  The question then becomes: how should this be done?  Careful analysis and discussion of the provisions of the bill proposed by the senator from NJ is needed.  However, accomplishing anything in the current political climate where both parties are so polarized will be difficult if not impossible.  Also, as  a veteran of the previous govt shutdown, and repeated freezes, funding problems, and limited resources that made accomplishing anything at EPA so difficult, I am not hopeful.  I fear climate change combined with problems from economic disruption and depression will overwhelm toxic chemical problems. 

  • Anonymous

    The question is basicly are you for for or against the EPA doing their job. You sound like the political obstructionists employing delaying and obfuscating tactis to avoid the thesimple up or down response. Of course your not going to get an indepth analysis in a simple poll on the merits or deficiencies of each regulation.

  • mahtub

    ITs  so disturbing, of  level/ numbers of chemicals  used in this  country, compare to  europe. chemiclas   should be  tested  before they are  allowed  to be used  in products  and  foods in this  country. same  goes  for  chemicals  used in agriculture and   food production. we have high rate of cancer in the united  states compare to other places in the  world, for one reason. chenicals in our foods and  products.  food  colorings, dyes, artificial flavours, ripenning agents, prodcuts in  shampoos, and  make ups, all,  to make  availabel artificial abundance. yes  plenty  foodss  and products  with  lower  price  than rest of the world,  but  look at  health of americans.Horried.shame on american chemical association. profits before  civic and enviromental protection.

  • MrHonea

    There are those of us who believe that the task of testing and legally prohibiting or limiting concentrations of dangerous chemicals can be done more efficiently on a state to state basis. 50 systems competing for a cleaner world could indeed be better than one and in theory it happens to help consumers in a capitalist society like ours. Our system of capitalism should be able to incorporate state to state preferences in a free marketplace. Citizens and the regulators should not be going head to head against corporations the federal courts as they do now, considering judges’ accountability to voters (null), judicial consistency in decision making (zilch) and the ease with which they are able to squirm out of owing up to all but the most blatant violations of what should be basic human rights whilst sustaining “plausible deny-ability” via out of court settlements. Frankly, this system has been more damaging than the FED circa 1970 and more hypocritical than the “United Nations” in the last 2 decades.
    Many of its largest violators are, in fact, exempt from EPA regulations and have been since the program began. Other dangerous chemicals are nefariously grandfathered into safe lists as your program points out. President Bush replaced the EPA with pro-petrol cronies while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the results of testing Genetically Modified Organisms just as his father had done 12 years before him through policy changes. FEMA preferred chemical contaminants which have not been fully tested over physical and organic/fungal solutions all the while the EPA denied the potential for harm to workers after the deep-water horizon catastrophe. How sad it is to say that, in lieu of any regulation to protect us, our president MUST be thanked for the tyranny he exercised in stopping offshore drilling through the moratorium he set in place. It was the unaccountable petrochemical industry after already having been warned of the dangers of drilling that poisoned our seas and estuaries. The EPA has even failed to fully evaluate the implications of fluoridating the entire US water supply for almost 40 years now, there was a 75% reduction recently where I live down to .7ppm, but the bags still say “Toxic” on them. How do you mess that up? This is an industrial byproduct of the aluminum industry that we were protected from by the clean water and clean air act people. The CDC has issued warnings to mothers about the dangers fluoridated tap water presents to infants, yet they consider it safe for adults, though it is admittedly useless for preventing tooth decay in adult teeth and there is much evidence that it is a contributing factor in the decline of IQ’s nationwide, the early onset of puberty, a rise in the occurrence of arthritis and collagen disruption and , with some debate, calcification of the pineal gland.
    Chemicals should be evaluated long before they endanger the bald eagle, inflict pestilence on whole communities and populations or kill anyone. I would like the federal government come a full 180 degrees from their current policies; They should end all federal regulation of the environment and fully endorse property rights of the individual, communities, corporations and states and transfer that power to states or the people themselves. It would be a good idea to require LOCAL endorsement of industrial operations before massive plants can move in and construct in some cases as well. Corporations are not always friendly neighbors, they should be fully forthcoming in every way to their consumers and their shareholders. These are not living breathing organic entities that have a pulse and a conscience and they should not be treated as such with regard to taxation, freedom of expression or bribing/contributing to federal politicians. To disregard such obvious truths is to abandon liberty and embrace fascism.
    Also, the definition of a “corporation” needs to be amended to: #1 remove protections given to them by federal and state courts under tort reform law and the judicial perversion of the U.S bill of rights as applied to them. #2 encourage the states to, through referendum, amend the constitution to
    guarantee the right of individuals protection from corporate, and
    federal spillovers #3 force them to take into account the intrinsic value tangible things like air and water quality. In the event that a corporation is using a public resource like WATER or AIR or LAND it should be accountable to the local and state taxpayers for how it affects those resources that fall within their legal jurisdiction.
    State and local communities are the prime beneficiaries and victims of corporate abuse I believe they should be able to set fees and penalties for violation via DIRECTLY elected local and state offices, not federal appointees and the bureaucracies our congressman and senators weave behind closed doors with the help of corporate and union lobby money. Environmental scientists, local families, consumers, shareholders and even entry level corporate employees need to be fully informed and consulted on actions taken by even multinational corporations ESPECIALLY in respect to how they effect the biosphere. How can any entity that relies on the biosphere for its well being and wealth ignore that it is the health of the planet that determines our health and that of our economy?
    I feel that this is the way to correctly spread democracy and personal responsibility, NOT through a federal bureaucracy that is vastly funded by the very corporations it is intended to regulate. We are dysfunctional as a nation, on a state to state basis and as individuals because short-sighted FEDERAL regulations have caused the states and, indeed, the rest of the civilized world to cut off both hands (the health of the labor-force and environment) in order to make up for a senseless p costs to all who do not comply with the current system and future expectations. In the spirit of the 10th amendment, this is a job best left up to markets and “The people”. In the bible, the number 40 is the established number of trials… well to be blunt: we have had a 40 year trial and the EPA has been a resounding failure as I’m sure the current head will be more than happy to tell you from his own experience.

    By evolving our institutions just a bit and expanding our understanding of natural law we could revolutionize the way the entire world does business, not just America. We must first be strong enough to admit that our system is broken and that knowing that in itself is a good thing. It proves that we were simply wrong in our first attempt at federally protecting people from the elements. It is only human to err. the sooner we admit that we have, the better off we will all be.

  • 19markwdodge56

    It is interesting, yet disturbing, that Republican primary contenders can turn the EPA into an evil force to run against.  I live in southern California.  A generation ago we would suffer day after day of smog alerts with the ugly brown haze looming over us.  Today they are rare despite the population of the region and the number of registered autos more than doubling.  From our perspective the EPA and the Clean Air Act did not do enough and our state adopted tougher tailpipe regulations.  To say the agency should be abolished to make way for free market solutions to daunting environmental threats is extremely naive and irresponsible.  

  • Tig

    Someone pointed out how Europeans have far stricter regulations than we here in the US.  While I don’t know if this is true, I can easily rationalize the reason for it. 
    Since our inception and throughout our history to date, the US has had an abundance of land.  Pollute and destroy the ecology of one region, simply move on to the next unspoiled area.  In Europe, things have been developed and populated for some time, even before the onset of the industrial revolution.  Now we are routinely accepting death and disease as a result of centuries of wanton pollution and virtually no cleanup whatsoever.  This follows the time in our history when one’s very livelihood could cause death and was accepted until the reforms of a century ago, again with industry dragging it’s heels to the fullest extent possible.  Now we have the far right advocating the dismantling of the entire EPA as an emergency measure to solve economic problems.  How incredibly shortsighted.  You would think the religious right would have reverence for ALL of God’s creations, including the Earth itself, but no, all we get is more greed and self-interest.

  • Ubeany

    You mean you wrote it?

  • Anonymous

    The Tea Party and the Republicans are so concerned about not leaving our children and grand children a legacy of debt, but they have no reservations about leaving future generations a toxic world where the air is unfit to breathe and the rivers catch on fire. The Tea Party spokesman on today’s program argued that “corporations do not want to hurt their customers”.  I almost threw a brick through my television set when I heard that one (but fortunately, I did not have a brick).  Does this man have any memory of the tobacco industry and the Seven Dwarfs who flatly denied that they had any knowledge of the harmful effects of their products?  His faith in the “free market” is just that; faith. It is not supported by facts. 

  • Anonymous

    I suppose since crime it down, we should tell the police we don’t need them anymore….

  • Cellis11374

    I am disappointed in this show. Here we have a body of debate evidence gathered in one section of the program only to be mostly ignored in the next. I wonder if this “reporter” (much like FOX News) thinks of himself as more of an entertainer than a reporter? Since when have reporters become so “NICE”…. seems he can not bring himself to ask any difficult or strong questions for fear he might upset his “guest”…. which again is the problem… since when did people getting questioned by “reporters” become a “GUEST”???? They are allowed to air their views and say what they wish… with NO accountability. The “interview” started w/ the “guest” stating that the environment has gotten so much better in the last 30-40 years and ended w/ the “guest” saying that the EPA has caused so much economic destruction w/ it’s massive regulations….. and NEITHER statement gets so much as a challenge? Please explain….. would you please sight examples…. how so???? These are questions that ANY first year debate student gets taught….. weed out their fallacies from the facts! If you believe that the environment is so much better now than it was 30-40 years ago, can explain why? And can you explain why it should take 20 years for the EPA to rid the workforce of say…. ASBESTOS… when replacements were easily available and it’s harmful effects were KNOWN and documented but challenged at EVERY step by industry… the same people that you would have self regulate? Has not Asbestos been proven harmful? Can you explain why if industry is all about protecting it’s consumers that it fought even self regulating Asbestos for 20-30 years at EVERY step of the way? Can you explain your last statement to us? Exactly what regulations are choking out industry/ economic growth? Is there a specific chemical that you believe that the EPA is regulating that is unfounded and hence strangling industry and growth? Can you explain why NEW chemicals should NOT be proven SAFE before used? Do we not have to meet safety standards in our cars, our airplanes, our buildings, our homes, our food, even the toys our children play with? But, you want us to NOT prove a product safe by ANY standard before it gets widespread use in a NEW market? I can understand the old grandfathered chems that we’ve come to rely on…. but, new chems??? Can you explain how the following scenario is not true????? Industry is about making money, and one very effective way of making money is to use the cheaper (though often more dangerous) chemicals to meet/ help meet increased production needs, and then pay as little as possible to those communities and individuals who those chemicals harm until such time as each the people/ communities die or the company has gained all of the profits that it get gain and then dissolves or goes out of business at which point in time their is no one individual to hold accountable!? Please explain how that is not VERY true is many  circumstances? I am NOT against industry… I just don’t believe that it is smart to trust someone with my life when really they mostly care about my MONEY!

  • Vdbwong

    PBS has become another tool for Corporate profits. Just as most other media serve as mouthpieces for Corporate profits, there is little investigation about the truth behind the spin and lies by rich corporations. Not even Obama and the other Dems dare expose or refute the lies that the media allow the Conservatives to spout unchallenged. It is bad enough that the greed and selfishness in the US will cause the decline and fall of this nation but it will likely take the rest of the world with us. The best spokesman for truth in government is probably Sen Bernie Sanders.  We need more politicians with courage like him.

  • Chris Ferdhana


  • Carefree18

    My mother always said that you should NEVER take a medication unless it’s been on the market at least ten years with no known major issues. When I was younger I would roll my eyes at her for this. But now… that is a rule I live by. I doesn’t give any guarantees but maybe that’s how long things should be tested before released.

  • MichelleNY

    I understood Mr. Kibbe’s philosophy as: a company is motivated to minimize pollution and toxins in their products and waste because they will face lawsuits if someone is harmed. So basically, corporations are entitled to pollute as much as their finances will allow? Shall we eliminate DWI laws, because business is slow at the bar in this economy, assuming people who harm someone will be sued for damages? Screw the victim and the family who lost someone, as long as the perp can pay the bill for whatever value some judge places on life or health. Same principle.

  • BVA

    Nobody asks for empirical evidence.  Mr. Kibbe asserted that the EPA is over-regulating and retarding economic, yet Mr. Suarez did not ask for evidence.  Mr. Kibbe asserted that uncertainty created by the EPA and other regulatory agencies was preventing business leaders from making business expansion decisions.  Mr. Kibbe asserted that the “common law” is all we need to protect the public.  Mr. Kibbe asserted that corporations will be deterred polluting by “economic accountability” (losing their customers).  

    Economic research, as I humbly understand it, provides objective evidence that suggests that most customers don’t care what corporations do to the “commons”, unless there is some high profile public awareness campaign.  There are many times more pollutants and polluters than potential public awareness campaign leaders and funders.  Still, Mr. Suarez did not ask for supporting evidence, a study, something objective, anything with some numbers that would cloth Mr. Kibbe’s naked assertions.  

    This is not commercial network news, this is PBS!  What the h… is going on?! 

  • John Roane

    No need to worry folks, we are moving all production to China, you know out of sight out of what little minds the public has.

  • PAWL

    Everything you propose sounds great on paper  but the problem occurs when the corporations wield more financial power than a community can afford. This is what has/is eventually happening to our federal regulatoy programs. The corporations have bought the politicians. The main reason the FDA was created is JUST that reason, the states/cities did not have the funds to address and research all the chemichals being used and then the MASSIVE COSTS to fight the army of lawyers a company can afford to employ.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree.  Forty years ago I was astounded when visiting in downtown LA. At times, 
    the smog was so bad it was literally hard to see across the street.

    Growing up in the ’40s, I spent summers at my grandmother’s company house, surrounded on all .sides by Maywood Chemical Works property.. My grandad worked there. The one-story facilities were perhaps 25 feet from two sides of the house.  Multicolored, luminescent effluent ran from the factory into a brook by the side of the railroad tracks where I played.

    I found out last year that the whole neighborhood is a Superfund site.

  • Mihermonodeotremadre

    yes, but in the meantime most of the toxic fumes are drifting all the way across the ocean from china and contaminating our entire west coast!

  • PAWL

    The organizations that are against the EPA are never confronted with the fact that millions of jobs and BILLION DOLLAR industries have been created because of the work the EPA has done. This is a major fault  with the media today. They just let people say what ever they want without presenting any facts. The news should be about the facts NOT just letting people say whatever they please. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning this program but letting what Matt Kibbe said to be presented as fact is harmful.

  • PAWL

    When the TeaBag guy Matt Kibbe said he had cancer, why wasn’t he asked if it was a naturally occurring type or one contracted by any known man made chemicals? Why wasn’t he asked how much cash would be acceptable to him  to contract the deadly disease again? Why wasn’t he asked if that same amount was acceptable to the workers and each community member and if that total  sum was subtracted from the “economic benefit” to the community he was talking about? When he stated that the market would decide if a company would, “remain in business” “because a company would not want to harm people because they would lose sales”, why wasn’t he asked if it was OK if HIS mother or HIS child, etc. were the ones killed or maimed before the said company closed it’s doors? Why wasn’t he asked why companies can make huge profits doing business in a community but when a pollutant is discoverd to have leaked or been deliberately dumped, why that the community has to pick up the tab for the medical, the clean-up and the future economic losses? And, In some cases the entire state or EVERY U.S. citizen? Did he factor in the cost of the long drawn out court battle that it takes to resolve such a case? Did he factor in the enourmous cost to every health insurance policy?

     How dare he use this economic situation to try to erase all the progress we have made as a society just so corporations can add to their already obscene profit margins? The only comparison I can make to what Kibbe is saying is to that of a sphincter, because the same substance is being expelled.

  • John Roane

    Well you will have to regulate China and India to stop that, call them up and hear what they have to say.

  • John Roane

    Yes, you are correct,  most all those jobs are government employees and the industry is regulation all at tax payer expense.  You are correct when interviewing they should require facts on jobs, such as number of private v/s government employees, the cost of writing regulations and the cost of businesses forced to move their operations offshore to stay competitive with world wide companies, especially those in countries without or little regulations.

  • Cherokeeblessingway

    Thank YOU !!! PBS – NEED TO KNOW !!!- For airing one of the MOST IMPORTANT Issues of our time in AMERICA!!

    The TIME IS NOW to give EPA the TRUE POWER IT NEEDS to keep ALL AMERICAS SAFE from Carcinogens, and all other forms of toxics affecting us all ACROSS OUR NATION! How many Super Fund sites does it take for our own government leaders to finally uphold the Constitution?

    Where would we be without the EPA !?!
    or the True Investigative Reporters, Like ANDREW SCHNEIDER, whom BROKE OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT LIBBY, MONTANA’S ASBESTOS – THAT HAS AFFECTED OUR NATION ALL THE WAY TO THE World Trade Center 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS – We would probably still be affected by the W.R. Grace Asbestos Mine..that did not close until 1990, and only after the story was out!!

    There are two BOOKS that explain:
    “An Air That Kills” by Andrew Schneider/David McCumber
    “Fatal Deception” by Michael Bowker

    Two of the most important books written about the deceit and corruption regarding Asbestos – and how it is still affecting American lives daily. 

    Asbestos Exposure, causes Asbestosis and Mesothelioma CANCER. In 2002, Henry Faulk, Asst. Adm. for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) told the Missoula Conference that mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases will not begin to level off until 2047. To date, there is no total cure, and Asbestos is not Banned in America.

    WHAT DOES ASBESTOS HAVE TO DO WITH CHEMICALS? Look at who is the heads of the American Chemical Council, (common factor).  Should we as American’s be united against the carcinogens and toxics that are affecting our families, world and humanity? and ask our government(s) to PROTECT our generations by finally giving EPA the laws and regulations it needs to protect us?

     YES !!!!!!

    We need National Regulations, NOT the State to State Regulations, that allows products that contain  any kind of carcinogens or chemicals to be sold commercially or for public use in the states that allow them, or we will never get ahead of Cancer. 

    Read those product Warning Labels – most say “This product contains one or more CHEMICALS known to the State of California to CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS OR OTHER REPRODUCTIVE HARM” with a nice following of - Manufacture assumes no RESPONSIBILITY for failure due to improper use….(Loop Hole)

    There are many of us UNITED IN TRUTH that are here to say – Asbestos Exposure facts must NO LONGER BE IGNORED! in America or the World for the sake of humanity.

    The World Health Organizations TOP Priority in 2010: Asbestos & Silicas – the global aspects of exposure.  (WHO) states 107,000 die yearly from Asbestos exposure. 

    It will take all World Leaders working together at the United Nations to protect humanity.  I pray they will !!


  • DaneM

    Somehow these remarks leave me cold. It’s not the Tea Party, Republicans, or the Democrats that are the problems but you; yes you, the people on here that want to blame everyone else except themselves. Do any of you sanctimonious people have any idea what goes into the making of any product?
    Lets take just one item, the screen you’re looking into while passing judgment on someone else. The coating on the back of your computer and TV screen is deadly. I’m not talking cancer causing, I’m talking deadly within minutes after breathing it in its concentrated form used for manufacturing your display/TV. You, the user of these items, are responsible for its use and manufacture every time you buy the next gadget on the market. That seems to be OK with you as we now buy all those things from another country so it’s not your problem. In other words you are now plundering another country for your appeasement. 
    As far as saying Europe is doing better you must have forgotten how we became the USA. It was Europe’s need to plunder another part of the commodity called earth.
    It’s not all about chemistry, it’s about greed and one’s own self indulgence.
    Carry on and blame others for what you are creating.

  • Bidpro1

    The great State of Louisiana
    EPA has been issuing regulations since 1972. At first the regulations corrected unquestionable environmental problems making the quality of our air and water better. However, over the past 40 years the benefits of tightening restrictions on how humans affect the environment have progressively decreased however, within EPA the urge to regulate remains very strong because that is the path to career advancement. To qualify this statement, just look at the stupid regulations that have been proposed or enacted within the past twenty years.
    Our nation would benefit from a cooling off period where no new regulations would be issued and a complete review/audit made to evaluate and eliminate trash regulations.
    If a national concern should arise from citizens (other than Prompted by environmental groups) to fix or regulate something so be it. However, no regulations should be enacted only from fever among EPA employees for the sole purpose of appeasing environmental groups or to seek career advancement.
    By doing so, the federal could reduce the number of EPA employees currently on staff and shift the majority of the inspectors and regulators to the states controls. In Louisiana, our State Department of Environmental Quality is extremely affective and efficient.    

  • th

     It is most hypocritical for the Government to regulate pollution guidelines.  Defense is the greatest violator of pollution standards.

  • jds12009

    I am sorry but I am just Sick and Tired of sweeping statements of supposed truth or fact that Matt Kibbe made about the EPA, business, and how it affects us. Where is the research or articles or books that support his contentions and assertions? They Never got either mentioned or quoted! Why is this?
    Because most of what Kibbe said is just Bogus and I wish that his interviewer had simply asked him: Where is your proof? Who else says this except other Tea Party folks? Kibbe claims his view is widely
    held and is correct. According to what people? This kind of rhetoric and propaganda is really neither
    useful or worthwhile. He said he was a “fourth stage cancer survivor’. Well, from my point of view, he
    apparently learned Nothing from surviving. I am a melanoma cancer survivor also and every year the
    VA sends me an invite to join hundreds of other survivors. What I learned from surviving cancer is that every person must be allowed to pursue those treatments or supplements that he or she finds value in. That Life is Precious! The Last thing we should be doing as a Nation is deciding whether or not
    to include a chemical on a toxic list based on a cost/benefit analysis. This is Insane! Money should not be the decider of what is best for people. If the EPA is so bad, as John Meacham pointed out, why do we have better air and water than before the EPA? Just Once, I would like to see Any Tea Party person speak about anything and if asked, be able to cite some references, evidence or some way to verify what is said. Just Once! But instead, there is this universal condemnation of All government and All agencies.Who does Kibbe think is responsible for the cleaner air and water? Industry? Not a chance. Fracking is now Ruining land and water tables across America, but you still read/hear about Tea Party people saying there is too much regulation by the EPA. The EPA should be allowed and Encouraged to utilize the regulations and laws to enforce compliance. BTW, the Gulf Oil spill is Not cleaned up! Ask anyone who lives and tries to work in the Gulf. Dead fish and animals are still washing up on the shores of the Gulf.  If the EPA and Obama had the power and guts to enforce cleanup, things could be way different. The other thing is, if we trash all these agencies, like the EPA, just who is going to do Any regulation in America? Industry? Well, that’s Worse than the Fox guarding the Hen house, it’s like opening the gate and closing the coop door. If you are waiting for Industry to police themselves or do the right thing for the environment, I have a nice bridge for sale for you too. 

  • ACampbell1001

    You’re assuming they are rational, aware, realisatic, etc…

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure there is any proof that market interests promote businesses to self regulate themselves to avoid pollution or clean up the environment.  Look at how much we know about smoking and still tobacco companies produce cigarettes.  The Hudson River was severely polluted by both industry and municipal sewage in the 1970′s.  No one causing the pollution stepped forward to stop the pollution.  It took Pete Seeger and a who;e lot of environmentalists and concerned citizens to resist further pollution causing projects and force cleanup regulation.  The Tea Party doesn’t like science and they don’t like the truth.  They live in a fantasy world where US corporations do no bad, communist China is our best friend, communist Cuba is our worst enemy, US religious conservatives are good, Israeli religious conservatives are good, but all other religious conservatives are dangerous.  This pick and choose your friends and enemies by what makes your politics feel good is the Tea Party and the US conservative.

  • Johnzane

    After the failure of big business to protect us from this economic meltdown, is there any other recourse than restoring government regulatory agencies to full strength? We tried letting the fox run the hen house, it was risky, we admit, and now we’re done. Now that Democrats have decided to give the finger to the Tea Party, we can finally expect them to actually vote without compromise, and under intense scrutiny. It’s important to note that the GOP, under Nixon, believed regulating toxic industries was the only way to stop them from poisoning all of us with impunity. It’s time that young Republicans recognized when the party stood for decency over profit.

  • PAWL

    Bull crap! How would a company be able to sell across state lines with FIFTY different standards? Besides, states are laying off teachers for lack of money and you propose them spending millions more testing products? Do you anti EPA people ever think before you speak?

  • PAWL

    You talk as if people KNOW what chemicals are in the products they buy. Wouldn’t that be the whole purpose of a stronger EPA, to INFORM the masses? To allow the people to choose instead of blindly purchasing a product that may poison them. This is why the chemical and other companies are trying to neuter the EPA, they know they would lose a huge percentage of their sales.

    Go ahead now Dane. Tell us all, we should bear the responsibility to know what chemical compounds comprise what we buy. But before you do, tell me if you have the time to research the over 100 million products for sale. People have become accustom to trusting that the products have been tested and deemed safe. How do you think business would be if people were deathly afraid to by a product? The EPA is good for business not bad. Just as the FDA is.

  • Denise

    amazing. appalling. I can’t believe Kibbe believes what he’s saying. it is ABUNDANTLY clear (big tobacco? big pharma?!) that industry is not ABOUT to regulate itself in the interest of the public. Kibbe’s answer is to send it to the courts…and force our judges to be scientists too? I can’t understand that. unacceptable. so it’s just fine with industry that the bodies keep piling up, and the EPA remains emasculated and unfunded… disgusting.

  • littleG

    Actually too many complex regulations creates loopholes for crony companies. The best thing to do is control the greed of individuals who make too much money and that itself is the dis-incentive for people not to do wrong things like polluting the environment at the cost of profits and so on. The easiest way to control human greed is to have a 90% income tax rate above 500K income per year. Once you have taken away the incentive to hoard too much money, you don’t need a ton of regulations whether it is EPA, or Financial regulations and so on. Simple easy to understand regulations are enough. Everyone will behave properly on their own.

  • Jolosho

    There is an option that would be fair to business and to the public. The ‘experts’ that tell everyone that certain chemicals are safe, along with all all top executives, owners, and board members should have that safe chemical in their homes, their ground, in their water and food – wherever it could be found by the public. These people should expose themselves and their families to the chemicals they are using in their plants. Lobbyists, Senators and Congressman who are in favor of the use of the questionable chemical should also be exposed in their everyday life. If this were enforced, something tells me we would not have so much contamination. If polticians are worried about jobs, find ways to hire people to clean up possible sites and prevent others from ever existing. This should not be considered a radical concept, but the norm.

  • Curt Stratmeyer

    FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe made only generalized blanket statements that were NOT supported with a scientific study, a single example or a single fact.  This is not debate; it is purely PROPAGANDA.  This is a prime tactic of right-wing groups.  It works because large segments of the US population are unsophisticated, untrained in critical thinking and willing to accept almost any right-wing dogma at face value because “it makes sense to them.”  Any wonder that the righties want to continue de-funding our educational system?

  • Curt Stratmeyer

    Your first four sentences are bang-on. But shifting most of the duty of protecting the environment to the states strikes me as the wrong solution. Would it not be true that the smaller or more regional the political (regulating) authority, the EASIER it is to corrupt?  Business would not need to subvert 50 states, merely those states in which they wanted to pollute. So the states solution you propose would actually be counterproductive, doing the divide (to conquer) part for business.

    Your post shifts the focus to the problem of corporate control of our political system.  Indeed, this is the core of the matter and touches all other issues.  Solutions seem to me be be clear, simple and largely agreed on.  Implementing them practically impossible.  Obama found that out.

  • hemididact

    The show was shoddy in ways that are typical of reporting on toxics issues. First, the argument was framed entirely in terms of health effects. The problem is that if you want to buy health you can probably get more of it investing in, say, childhood nutrition, or, for that matter, diarrhea treatments in third world countries. The point is that we as a society can make choices about the kind of environment we want, and decide to pay for them, and those choices don’t have to reduce to health, which is always invoked because it trumps everything, and invites the kind of mindless inability to make choices that paralyzes the entire healthcare debate. Second, it conflates the issue of all EPA regulation with EPA regulation of toxics. Sloppy. Just because EPA is hampered by a poor statute in one case doesn’t mean it is in all others. Regulation always involves a tradeoff between writing to the generality and allowing the exception within the bounds of available oversight and accurate estimation of impacts. Third, of course, by reducing the issue to all or nothing, more regulation or less, the show invites us to the simple-minded polarization that is paralyzing the political process across the board. Too bad Need to Know is debasing its product in this way.

  • Denny Nurski

    EPA should be allowed to enforce the laws it’s already tasked to oversee.  The US does not need more Love Canals or Stringfellow Pits, etc.  This comment applies to other regulatory agencies.  Safe food, workplaces, drugs all trump corporate profits.  Let the IRS get tax evaders to pay their taxes.  Politicians that are blocking the Presidents appointments for head of various Federal agencies should be impeached.  Government agencies can’t work for the common good if special interest groups hobble there ability to function.

  • Jmensminger

    Mr. Kibbe claims to be a “stage four cancer survivor,” has anyone verified that bit of information? Secondly, if he is truly a cancer survivor and a former chief of staff for a congressman and a policy wonk for the Republican party, what kind of health care was Mr. Kibbe fortunate enough to enjoy? Was it some sort of government funded health care? You know, the kind that his type are contantly railing against…Jerry Ensminger

  • linda

    my neighbors are killing us with 500+ toxic lawn sprays in just 13 weeks and still going strong. EPA tells me its not against the law, so go to the Dept. of Ag.—the regulators who are tight with the pesticide lobbyists. We don’t stand a chance……..Liked your comment!

  • linda

    Amen to that. We are poisoning ourselves. We pay extra for organic food so we don’t ingest pesticides. Well, listen up, you same people go home and have your lawn sprayed with those same toxic chemicals and ingest them anyway—but, you are poisoning everyone else in your neighborhood by the drift, and don’t give a rap about neighbors who don’t want to breathe clean air…………………..

  • Linda

    We need the EPA, but only if there is follow through after their testing. And yes Europeans have stricter reulations, as well as Canada & Quebec, when it comes to pesticides anyway. As an investigative reporter, I have been following the pesticide issues that plague our country, that go unrestricted for political reasons. Right now, the regions that are becoming spoiled by pesticide use is our own neighborhoods. We’d be safer living in a farmer’s field. Farmers use 1/10th the amount of pesticides per acre on their fields, than do residents on their lawns. For what? Nothing other than to keep up with the Jones’s. That’s why we need regulation. Americans won’t quit on their own. The problem is that EPA has tested these lawn chemicals and THEY ARE ALL TOXIC. Some are carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disrupters, while others cause birth defects and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and are dumbing-down our kids. Many cause all of the above according to the EPA, yet nothing is done to prohibit their use in our neighborhoods, or anywhere else. Canada, Quebec, and some European countries have banned their use in neighborhoods, but EPA is playing the blame game with the State Departments of Agriculture. Due to the strong pesticide lobbyists, no bans are allowed by states that have been pre-empted from making their communities stronger than the federal regulations. So there you have it–you must educate yourselves, and others as much as possible, to stop more love canals. It’s probably too late for many of us, but what about our children and grandchildren? EPA is useless unless they are going to impose bans after finding a product harmful to humans. 

  • Jmensminger

    Matt Kibbe made the statement during an interview on PBS’ “Need to Know” program that he is a stage 4 cancer survivor. I have asked PBS to contact Mr. Kibbe and request that he verify his comment with medical records…no response as of yet…Jerry Ensminger

  • oceanboy

    As a Hazardous Materials Professional, with a degree in Environmental Health and Safety, I believe that there exist adequate regulations for the protection of the public as well as the environment . The lack is not in regulation, but, rather, in enforcement. EPA, as do other regulatory agencies, relys heavily upon self reporting by the affected businesses. It is up to the integrity of the individual entities to bring awareness of releases and or other problems involved with their enterprise. Congress must mandate a more vigorous process of compliance to existing law through increased funding of inspection and enforcement.

  • oceanboy

    Even if extremists were allowed to dismantle the EPA, there are still International Standards such as the ISO 14000 series which ; although voluntary, shall be adhered to before a business may engage in international commerce.

  • BG

    Stop the propaganda, please. The criteria for hiring on the EPA is that you must be a supporting worshipper of Obama. That’s it. You will then be in charge of doing what you know nothing about….and party organizing. They must have parties to honor every color, political supporter and sexual persuasion except Caucasians, Christians, Constitutionalist, heterosexuals or virgins.
    My granddaughter who have always been so passionate about the environment had their bubble burst recently upon learning all the recycling being done is causing more damage overall because the resources and energy to do it is actually causing more waste and damage as well as a whole lot of money.
    I’ve had my own reality check following remodeling with a beautiful new EPA approved toilet (and yes, it says that right on the toilet. I have been stressed out ever since due to the fact that it uses more water, not less. It has to be flushed numerous times to get rid of waste and even then often must be brushed It has been stopped up twice within three days (once while the EMT’s were here treating me for a heart crisis.)
    The installing plumber said he was having lots of problems and the only thing I could do was let him try to find one of the older models, at a price of course. Wonder how many of these EPA approved things will go into the garbage? Anyway, don’t believe all the government agencies propaganda. Their jobs depend on you believing them. They’ve got a lot of incentive to be untruthful. Check out all the money being thrown their way.