ACC - There is no bigger polluter than government. And the greatest environmental disasters of the last century are all pretty much either directly as a result of government action or knock on effects of government action. Yet so many environmentalists continue to worship the state and it's big government regulatory powers. The greenies really need a wake-up call.
The US federal government is one of the largest, if not the largest, polluter on the planet. This pollution comes both directly, with government agencies directly harming environmental quality, and indirectly, with pollution-inducing policy. The US federal government has a long and often tragic history when it comes to environmental stewardship.
This is partly because much of the environmental bureaucracy is almost wholly beyond the control of politicians and the general public. A case in point is the Department of the Interior, an agency designed to manage federal lands, which has provoked regular environmental scandals for more than 100 years. The agency has long been protected by little other the fact that it appears to be one of the most dull, uninteresting parts of the federal bureaucracy. Reforming the Interior Department is not an issue that a politician can easily campaign on. If anything, disrupting the many vested interests could cost more votes than it wins.
Or take the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps, best known for its engineering projects such as levees and dams along rivers, and maintaining the nation’s harbors, has done more to destroy sensitive habitats than nearly any group, public or private, in the nation’s history. It has destroyed innumerable wetland areas in the name of channeling rivers like the Mississippi.
Both direct damage and policy failures show that the federal government is no environmental angel. If anything, its misguided work can do more harm than good. That is not saying that private actors do not pollute, but at a minimum they are held accountable for the damage they cause. This rarely happens when the the federal government is at fault.