Auchter's Art: PFAs, Trump, and a misplaced punchline | Michigan Radio
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Auchter's Art: PFAs, Trump, and a misplaced punchline

Jan 17, 2020

Perhaps as Michiganders we are a bit more sensitive to drinking water issues than most Americans. What with our 11,000 lakes (Great and otherwise), we have constant reminders of this precious natural resource. Add to that the recent disasters of the Flint water crisis and discoveries of PFAS contamination, and, well, you could say there is ample reason for our heightened interest.

So I was naturally drawn to the recent news of the U.S. House passing a bill to require the EPA to set limits for PFAS content in drinking water. The EPA has been, to a certain extent, already in the process of doing this, but the bill is intended to expedite the process. All good and seemingly straightforward. But this was swiftly followed by a threat from the White House that the president would veto the bill (assuming it passes the Senate). I paraphrased in the cartoon, but the actual quote was this:

"The regulatory process works best when EPA and other agencies are free to devise regulations based on the best available science and careful consideration of all the relevant facts."

This struck me as quite an audacious statement, for several reasons. First, the endorsement of the regulatory process. Up to this point, the current administration has made it pretty clear that their position on regulation in general is "against." But to suddenly align themselves with "the best available science" and "careful consideration of facts"? Oh my gosh, who wrote this?!

I can't tell whether the statement is actually earnest or if it was written to mess with us. But if it's the latter, it reminded me of a lyric from a recent Ben Folds song:

They say [truth] dies in the dark

Right now, they're trying to kill it in broad daylight

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John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

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