Public Comment Period Now Open for New EPA Strategic Plan

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In the effort to get alternatives to growth a home in the national agenda, we have to jump at every chance we can get.

Here’s an email I received today from Rob Deitz, the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), an organization doing some of the best work developing and promoting the concept of a steady state economy:

There is a real opportunity sitting in front of us.  We all want to see the U.S. take a leadership role in recognizing the limits to economic growth and promoting the transition to a steady state economy.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft of its strategic plan for 2011-2015, and it is open for public review and comment until Friday, July 30th at midnight Eastern time. As of now, there are very few public remarks [see the circled bit to the right — click to enlarge], so it will be advantageous even at this late date for as many people as possible to comment.

Find out more about the drafting process here.

It doesn’t mention economic growth at all, and it certainly doesn’t mention the steady state economy.  You can submit comments on the Draft Strategic Plan (again, prior to midnight on Friday, July 30th) at:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#submitComment?R=0900006480b054e6

Once you have made comments on the strategic plan, you can also leave comments on the EPA blog topic “Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism” by clicking through here:
http://blog.epa.gov/strategicplan/?p=134&preview=true

Please consider adding your comments! This is a low-cost way to slip questions about growth into the view of both policymakers and the public. Every bit counts — and on the web, you never know who might stumble across your links or comments and get engaged.

Rob and CASSE are friends of ours; we thank them for sounding the call about this opportunity. Go here to receive their newsletter, and here to join 5,430 others and sign their position statement on economic growth.

[UPDATE 7/28]

Here’s a comment from Sandwichman, an alert reader who points out that getting the EPA to consider anything other than the party line on economic growth will be a tough sell:

“The draft document does indeed mention economic growth. On page 3, point three of their five point program that ‘will inform the work of every program office in every region and help us meet the challenges we face today’  is:

‘Advancing Science, Research and Technological Innovation: We will seek to be a leader in advancing the scientific research and technological innovation that not only enhance our abilities to protect the environment, but promote new jobs and the sustainable growth of our economy.'”

Nice catch. And he sums it up best: “Sustainable growth. Outrageous.”

Published by Scott Gast

Scott walks, bikes, reads, and lives in rural western Massachusetts. His day jobs have included stints at YES! Magazine, the City of Chicago's Waste to Profit Network, and The Nature Conservancy. He is a graduate of the Environmental Science program at Allegheny College, and Special Projects Assistant at Orion Magazine.

2 replies on “Public Comment Period Now Open for New EPA Strategic Plan”

  1. Scott,

    The draft document does indeed mention economic growth. On page 3, point three of their five point program that”will inform the work of every program office in every region and help us meet the challenges we face today.” is:

    “Advancing Science, Research and Technological Innovation: We will seek to be a leader in advancing the scientific research and technological innovation that not only enhance our abilities to protect the environment, but promote new jobs and the sustainable growth of our economy.”

    There it is the oxymoron, “sustainable growth”. Outrageous.

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