How The Environment Got Political

The Trump administration has proposed slashing the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 25%, eliminating some 3,000 jobs, and cutting funding to states. GOP lawmakers deem the agency a job killer that does nothing but burden businesses with regulations. In the eyes of the American public, the environment ranks low on the list of priorities the government should address.

But flash back to the late 1960s, and it’s a very different story. The environment was a bipartisan issue, and a Republican president created the EPA in 1970 in response to public pressure. So how did we get here? How did the environment go from universal concern to political battleground — with the EPA caught in the crossfire?

With the help of Richard Andrews, professor emeritus of environmental policy at UNC Chapel Hill, and William Ruckelshaus, EPA administrator under presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Brooke considers the tumultuous history of the EPA, its evolving relationship with the public, and its uncertain future.


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