Friday, February 18, 2011

Unfair Reporting on Proposed Environmental Budget Cuts

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to your article on February 14th, “Republicans Gut EPA Climate Rules, Slash Deeply Into Climate Research, Aid and Technology Programs”, that discusses the Republicans’ plans to cut spending for various environmental programs and agencies.  There are various concerns I have with this article.

First, the article was poorly laid out.  All it did was simply list the cuts that the Republicans wanted to make and to which programs and/or agencies.  It became repetitive and purposeless aside from the intent to defame the Republicans’ agendas.  There was no substance to much of what was written and it only gave numbers and figures, rather than reason and explanation.

This leads me to my next point.  While Republicans are widely known for not supporting environmental agendas, this article should have still provided reasons and logic behind the Republicans’ proposed legislation.  The cuts are astronomical and perhaps those behind them have legitimate reasons for what they want to do.  There were hardly any quotes from Republicans and they were much underrepresented in this discussion.  Perhaps if the writers of this story included a balance between the two sides, the credibility would increase, making the article more appealing to a wider variety of people.  All the readers gather from this article is that what the Republicans intend to do will have no positive outcome. While it might ultimately be true (and it might not), it would be more journalistic to include the perspective of both sides.  Every day, we are inundated with stories on the poor state of the economy while the Obama administration keeps proposing more spending; perhaps the Republicans’ intentions is to lighten the spending burden.  Regardless of what winds up happening, the article should have still included proper reasons why the GOP is seeking such huge budget cuts.

The article seemingly has no direction.  A better approach to it would include proper coverage of both sides (as I’ve mentioned), a clear analysis of the spending, and maybe a prediction of what will actually happen.  The article mentions that Obama has claimed he will veto any legislation that limits the power of the EPA, which could very easily shut down any of the Republicans’ proposals.  If that could be the case, then the authors should discuss that more in depth.  I would’ve liked to have seen more of the full story and less of the numbers.

Brittany Shann

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