I am very concerned about current national policies that negatively impact our environment. Please read the New York Times story “67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump.” Some of these policies have taken aim at our air and water, while others have increased our exposure to toxic chemicals. Those “safe pipelines” leaked 210,000 gallons of oil last year.

The budget for the EPA has been cut by 31 percent. Scientists have been replaced with “industry leaders.” The EPA removed the word “science” from its mission statement, and wiped climate change data from its website. Our national policies are at odds with science-based research accepted worldwide. Although there are twice as many solar energy jobs in the U.S. than coal jobs, recent tariff rules will damage the former.

You can contact Congress to advocate for positive environmental policies, but another option is to pressure industry to make changes ahead of our misguided government. A local movement, #cleanituptyson is taking that approach. Watch in the next few weeks for information about the efforts of Mighty Earth, an international organization, trying to get Tyson to clean up its waste, from the nitrates used by farmers growing the grain to the concentrated animal feeding operations producing massive amounts of waste. All of this ends up in our rivers, and ultimately in the Gulf, contributing to the Dead Zone, which is now the size of New Jersey. The Midwest is suffering from the negligent policies of many corporations. Make your feelings known.

Lori McCollum

Rock Island

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