Environmental Advice for the Candidates From Van Jones

Cofounder of Rebuild the Dream, former White House special adviser on green jobs, and author of The Green Collar Economy

Jun 22, 2012
Outside Magazine
Van Jones

Jones resigned from his position on the White House Council on Environmental Quality in September 2009.    Photo: Gabriela Hasbun/Redux

If the GOP attempts to score cheap points by attacking the EPA, Obama should punch back hard. The agency has probably saved more American lives over the past 40 years than the Department of Defense. A bipartisan creation of the Nixon administration, the agency has policed polluters and curbed deadly toxic chemicals in our air and water. Many in the GOP try to paint these protections as job killers, but the poisons that the agency is keeping out of our bodies are people killers. 

If Romney uses the job-killer line, Obama should simply say, “We all care about jobs. But we also care about our children. Everyone here can agree that we have a duty to protect our kids from known poisons, right? So tell me, Governor: How many American children are you willing to sacrifice for one job? How many American kids are you willing to see die per job created? How many funerals are you willing to go to? Because if you remove all those protections to get rid of the so-called job killers, you open the floodgates for known people killers. And I believe we can create good jobs in America without doing that to our kids.”