A dramatic accident showed why the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] must be funded. Donald Trump’s severe budget cuts indicated how little he appreciated the importance of this life-saving agency. His director of the EPA Scott Pruitt committed to dismantling the agency, even as a toxic cloud of black smoke rolled across Texas.
The EPA took control of the thousands of burning fire that began on April 9th. West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Ellis explained how the fire of an estimated 100,000 tires went way beyond his means of controlling it, according to OA Online:
‘It’s still burning. It was way beyond our means to put it out last night. We haven’t even been able to get down in the pit where it started because it’s so hot you can’t get down in that pit. The rubber just stays hot and it will adhere to your boots and the bunker gear.’
Not only has Pruitt wanted to take the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which 200 countries joined, he did not believe that Carbon Dioxide contributed to global warming. The EPA director had thousands of emails that showed his ties to the oil industry, from when he was attorney general of Oklahoma. He has already stacked the EPA with climate change doubters.
Pruitt spoke to Fox & Friends:
‘Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion. It’s a bad deal for America. It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.’
Tire fires are usually caused by arson or other fires, such as burnoffs of fields, that were uncontrolled. A tire fire can last up to 10 years, if not controlled. Tire fires burn very hot, and their shape causes them to be susceptible to wind currents. Ellis told OA Online:
“It’s just frustrating because as firemen, we’re all trained to go get it and there’s nothing we can do with it right now.’
Ellis said the nearest fire hydrant was around four miles away. The EPA came to help out, according to OA Online:
‘The EPA came in town this morning, but we’re not going to be able to do anything til they’re ready to do it.’
The EPA sent teams of firefighters, strategists, and appropriate equipment to Odessa, Texas. Within two-days, the EPA had a plan of action. Within five days it put its plan into action.
Without an EPA, the tire fire would have had to just burn itself out, however long that took. Maybe, people should change the name of the EPA to the Health Protection Agency.
For more information on tire fires, click on this link.
Check out this video of the West Odessa fire:
Featured Image: Getty Images/Ian Forsyth.