The headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Regarding the Jan. 25 news article “Trump orders acceleration of environmental reviews”:

The Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970 with overwhelming support. The agency and the legislation it enforces, notably the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, have long enjoyed well-deserved support of Americans, forward-looking congressional Republicans and Democrats, and most presidents.

At the signing ceremony for the Clean Air Amendments of 1970, President Richard Nixon noted, “We signed a historic piece of legislation that put us far down the road toward a goal that Theodore Roosevelt, 70 years ago, spoke eloquently about: a goal of clean air, clean water, and open spaces for the future generations of America.” In 1990, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) explained his vote for a Clean Air Act amendment by saying, “I had to choose between cleaner air and the status quo. I chose cleaner air.”

Apparently, the new administration has other plans for this vital agency: regulatory and scientific overhauls, massive layoffs of its employees, and gargantuan budget cuts, including to state and tribal assistance grants. Whom will this benefit, and why are today’s congressional Republicans so willing to abandon a more-than-century-old legacy of support for environmental protection and the public good?

John Parrotta, Falls Church