Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

EPA Blues / Give Me Water

The kitchen water is running gray.      D A G D
River’s poison, people say.                  G D Em D A —
And it’s flowing in our homes,        D7— G G#dim7
In our bodies, in our bones.            D A G G#dim7
Oh, give me water.                                D A D —

Your burning rivers of yesterday;
You put out the fire, with the EPA.
The Cuyahoga burns no more.
You got good fishin’, Lake Erie’s shore.
Oh, give me water.

Oh, how the greedy love to deceive,
And the gullible  believe.
And now they’re tryin’, in your name
To turn your rivers back into flames.
Oh, give me water.

There’s always money for guns and war,
But not  for America, for sure,
And not for water, for your thirst,
‘Cause you come second, and they come first.
Oh, give me water.

And just who do you think will redeem,     G D A—
When you sacrifice rivers and streams?   G D A—

And that’s the way it’s bound to be,
When you watch the world on TV.
Never know the status quo
Until you rise, and tell ‘em no,
Until you rise, and tell ‘em no.
Oh, give me water.

©Doug Hendren 2017

What’s it about?  On the morning of June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga river caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio. Although it had happened many times before, this time it triggered a revolution in American environmental consdiousness. The image of the burning river inspired the nation, under Republican president Richard Nixon, to establish the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and the Clean Water Act just two years later. Our cities, our air and water today are much cleaner than they used to be, thanks to the EPA.

America has prospered under The EPA’s prudent regulations, protecting our essential “commons”, including our water quality and air quality. It has explicitly recognized the importance of preserving our natural heritage, balancing private enterprise and public welfare.

Despite the critical role played by the EPA in recent decades, the Trump administration and its new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt are in the process of defunding and dismantling critical parts of the EPA. Pruitt is a long-time ally of the fossil fuel industry, whose plans, if carried out, will harm the American people and environment, for the short-term benefits of the fossil fuel industry. The last thing we need is our rivers on fire again. Make no mistake. That is where we are heading at present.

Grist: Before the EPA, our cities looked like this

EPA To Officially Terminate On Dec 31, 2018  H.R. 861, introduced in the US House of Representatives in February, 2017.

The Cuyahoga River Fire 1969

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