The most important lessons can be the hardest to learn. Sometimes they even take a crisis. One would hope that the sorry saga of Flint, Michigan's lead-poisoned water would be one such teachable moment, driving home the point that our government is a vital partner in protecting our health and safety, and that together we have a demonstrated history of successfully protecting people and the planet when public servants are supported with adequate resources and shielded from political interference.
For far too long, the corporate-interest campaign to undermine public health and environmental regulation has helped set the stage for avoidable, human-driven disasters like the Flint crisis and the BP oil spill. These tragedies, leaving a trail of death, illness, and environmental destruction, showed us in vivid detail the dangers of defunding our government agencies and tying the hands of officials who do the hard work of implementing and enforcing our laws.
Fortunately, there is a better way, and this page will serve as the clearinghouse for recommendations and other materials from the Center for Progressive Reform, which are designed to help get us there. The posts, papers, and other information included here call on the nation's 45th president to put forth a positive vision of the role of government in our everyday lives and to ensure that our system for developing regulatory protections advances the public interest and safeguards our health, our safety, and our environment.
The truth is, despite the many hurdles anti-regulatory policymakers have thrown in front of agencies, officials have found ways to protect the public. In short, regulations work. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act rules saved 164,300 adult lives in 2010 alone, and by 2020, they will save an estimated 237,000 lives each year.
To help agencies continue to safeguard us all, the next president should commit to building a 21st century regulatory system. There are a number of ways to do this, many of which are included in the materials on this page. Please join us in advocating for them as our nation transitions to the next president.