What can a woke Environmental Protection Agency do? Louisiana is a canary in the coal mine on that account.
Last November, agency Administrator Michael Regan undertook a self-styled “Journey to Justice” tour of several locations in and around Louisiana in proximity to industrial sites, focusing on communities typically poorer and nonwhite. The name echoes the “environmental racism” concept adopted by the political left that maintains this injustice occurs when pollution policy differentially detrimentally impacts, including unintentionally, communities disproportionately composed of racial minorities. That notion neatly adheres to the prevailing neo-racist ethos on the left that American institutions of all kinds are systemically racist and that to provide evidence otherwise is itself an act of racism.
Regan’s trip, among other actions, signaled a return to politicization of the EPA towards much more heavy-handed and politically-driven administration. This departs from the agency under Republican former Pres. Donald Trump, where it instituted deregulation of needless government oversight that, if anything, improved outcomes, as witnessed by its building on the long-term decline in air pollution. Unfortunately, the EPA under Democrat Pres. Joe Biden already has started to reverse these gains, one of which Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy and others protested this week that for no good reason would harm disproportionately Louisiana industry.