Erin Brockovich on Trump environmental regulation rollbacks: ‘You're playing with everybody’s lives’
Produced by Yasmeen Qureshi
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Erin Brockovich has never been afraid to take on the big guys, so why not the president of the United States?
Brockovich is calling out the Trump administration for rolling back dozens of environmental regulations, saying it would be a “disaster” to lose any more environmental protections.
“You’re playing with everybody’s lives. And I think it could be a fatal blow,” Brockovich said in an interview with the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes.”
Brockovich became a household name almost 20 years ago when Julia Roberts portrayed her on the big screen, dramatizing Brockovich’s David vs. Goliath-like fight against Pacific Gas & Electric over the company’s contamination of drinking water in Hinkley, Calif. The legal battle resulted in the largest direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history.
A tireless environmental and consumer advocate, Brockovich has now set her sights on Trump’s regulatory rollback.
“This is really reckless, careless behavior that has total disregard for the environment and the appreciation that water sustains our life and the future of our health,” Brockovich said of lifting regulations.
So far, the Trump administration has rescinded or scaled back 47 environmental regulations, and is aiming to eliminate 31 more.
Brockovich insists that climate change and the environment should “absolutely” be major issues in the 2020 presidential election, but says they shouldn’t be topics that divide candidates or voters along partisan lines.
“I don’t know why we should politicize water and our health,” she exclaimed. “Every single human being on this planet needs water to survive. How could we possibly define humanity based on whether you’re a liberal or a conservative?”
Since Brockovich’s victory over PG&E, the company has twice filed for bankruptcy. PG&E currently faces another class-action lawsuit that alleges their faulty equipment and negligence played a role in the wildfires that recently devastated communities in California.
“This is a company that has failed miserably at keeping their antiquated system up to date,” Brockovich said. “I don’t know where we’ve missed a step here and not seen that this company was bound to do this again and again and again.”
Reached for comment, PG&E told Yahoo News that it “continues to assess” its infrastructure.
“The families impacted by the recent devastating wildfires are our customers, our neighbors and our friends,” the company said in a written statement. “Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much, and we remain focused on supporting them through the recovery and rebuilding process.”
The fire that wreaked havoc in and around Paradise, Calif., killed 85 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Last week, the company canceled $130 million in bonuses to employees, saying it couldn’t justify those payments when fire victims were still suffering. The cause of the fire, as well as PG&E’s role, remains under investigation.
Brockovich, however, has already seen enough from PG&E to render her own judgement. “Do we wait until they kill more people?” she asked.