Media must keep environmental issues on front burner

4/13/2017, 9:18 p.m.

The environmental progress achieved by the Obama administration is being dismantled piece by piece due to the Republican majority in both chambers of Congress. Although these policies are being covered by some news organizations, they quickly are being placed on the back burner for the rest of the Trump circus.

The Clean Water Rule, which provides federal oversight in protecting our nation’s waterways and that restored protections to more than 2 million miles of streams and rivers, will be “reviewed and reconsidered” by the EPA, which is led by the very same individual who attempted to sue the EPA over this rule. Now Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration are the deciding factors in what waterways are in need of further regulation. Their track records speak for themselves.

Besides a single story covering these actions, how much media coverage does this get in comparison to the president’s usual fiascos?

We saw what happened at Flint, Mich., but only learned about it after the backlash from all of the negative consequences. This mistake shall not and cannot be repeated. We can no longer continue to wait for the worse to happen before these issues become placed on the public’s agenda — which is why we need the media. The public will not care if these issues are not covered properly.

Since the primaries, President Trump has set the agenda for the media, mostly through his outlandish statements, tweets and blatant favoritism given to certain news outlets. The administration’s blocking of several mainstream outlets while hand-picking news outlets to cover its outings does not represent the principles our nation was founded on. This is bringing more attention to heavily biased and alternative media whose articles and broadcasts mentioned environmental protection only a handful of times in the past year and only addressed climate change in terms of denial.

It is the media’s job to cover the important policies that are being overlooked and it is our job to sift through the media reports properly and understand when the right to a free press is being threatened.

Climate change has been removed from all environmental reviews, and the EPA basically is heading in the direction of favoring the coal and oil industries. This is the direction our country will be going in for the next for four years if the public is not well informed.

We need our media to keep reporting on environmental and scientific studies from universities and independent laboratories in order to prevent any more alternative facts becoming the mainstream and our environment becoming an afterthought.