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    US Environmental Policy Changes Have Consequences ‘For Years, If Not Decades’

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    The Republican led-executive and legislative branches in the US are storming ahead with detrimental environmental regulatory reforms that “will have ramifications for years, if not decades to come,” a top environmental scientist told Sputnik News Thursday.

    "They have literally put the foxes in charge of the henhouses," Fred Magdoff told Loud & Clear on Radio Sputnik. Magdoff is emeritus professor of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont.

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is the archetypal "fox" running the henhouse, hiring staffers of Senator James Inhofe to run the EPA, according to the Environmental Integrity Project.

    ​Inhofe is well-remembered as the Oklahoma lawmaker who held up a snowball in the US Congress to prove climate change wasn't a real.

    Approving the completion of oil pipelines in the Dakotas, reducing the size of national parks in Utah, exiting the Paris Climate Accords and attempting to give the coal industry a $10 billion subsidy are just a few of the environmental accomplishments US President Donald Trump has overseen in his first year in office.

    ​The Trump administration also sought eliminate a ban on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, but a court rejected lifting the ban on mining December 14.

    Pruitt was, however, able to reverse a 2015 ban on the controversial pesticide glyphosate in March.

    "We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment," Pruitt said in March.

    Some of the crops it is used on are for human consumption, which is what Obama's EPA attempted to ban outright. The pesticide was first used in 1965, but most uses for it ended around 2001, according to the Hill. The World Health Organization classifies glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen."

    "With glyphosate, and other chemicals, it's not just the active ingredient killing the plants. There's also so-called ‘inert' materials that are added… It turns out these other chemicals can be harmful too," Magdoff told Sputnik.

    Proponents of the pesticide have dismissed safety concerns and said the compound is perfectly safe — until pressed to put their views into practice. "You can drink a whole quart of it, it won't hurt you," genetically modified crop proponent Dr. Patrick Moore said in a 2015 interview. "Do you want to drink some?" the French interviewer replied.

    "I'd be happy to, actually. Not really, but, I know it wouldn't hurt me," Moore said.

    "If you say so, I have some glyphosate —" the interviewer said, before Moore cut him off, saying "I'm not stupid… but it's not dangerous to humans."

    "So are you ready to drink one glass of glyphosate?" the interviewer continued. "No, I'm not an idiot," Moore said abruptly.

    Some of Trump's overarching attempts to scrap environmental regulations may take so long to actually implement that there's so home that some damages "can be reversed" if Trump loses a re-election bid in 2020, Magdoff explained.

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    environment, EPA, Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump, United States
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