The NY Times article, Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots, exposes the efforts by Donald Trump’s EPA to undermine critical protections for communities from dangerous toxins like PFOA, TCE and the pesticide chlorpyrifos. As long as the EPA can make a defensible claim that it is acting in accord with existing laws, there is little to hold Trump’s EPA accountable short of Congress changing the laws, which clearly they are not inclined to do. But if we had a Green Amendment in our federal constitution that acknowledged and protected people’s inalienable rights to a healthy environment there could be a check on this misuse of power.
The same holds true for the many anti-environment government actions, laws, regulations and rollback efforts happening in states across the nation, which is why we need Green Amendments in every state constitution. A well written constitutional provision can provide a much needed check on governmental power, including the decisions causing environmental degradation that is poisoning peoples bodies and lives.