Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block.
For Paul Light, a professor of public policy at New York University’s Wagner School, the most compelling evidence is the extent of federal layoffs at the IRS. “Think about it. What better way to break the back of the government than by undermining the ability of the federal government to fund itself?” he asked.
Polluters have been whining about the EPA since it was signed into existence 47 years ago by that radical environmentalist Richard Nixon. Conflict was inevitable, and the EPA has been regularly vilified for meddling in local matters.
During a recent interview, EPA chief Scott Pruitt insisted that CO2 emissions are not the primary cause of global warming. He added that there is need for additional research and information—and more debate—before anyone is allowed to point fingers at this suspect greenhouse gas.
Those who say that we ordinary people can’t have any effect on today’s corporate behemoths should check out two breakthroughs last year by a group the establishment has long derided as somewhere between wacko and criminal: animal rights activists.
Last year was the hottest year on record, beating the record set in 2015. And 2015 topped the record set in 2014, according to NASA. Scientists say that this is the first time that temperature records have been broken three years in a row. For all the time spent worrying about jihadist terrorists and Mexican criminals, they don’t constitute an existential threat to humanity. Climate change does.
The new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that America need not choose between jobs and the environment, in a nod to the energy industry, as the White House prepares executive orders that could come as soon as this week to roll back Obama-era regulation.
The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency. Democrats spoke through Thursday night and Friday morning on the Senate floor, trying to extend debate on Pruitt until later in February when 3,000 emails between him and energy companies will likely be revealed by a judge.
A senior EPA official who had been briefed by members of the Trump administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of staffers in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but did not provide details about what the orders would say, said the sources, who asked not to be named.
The destructive toll of Donald Trump’s presidency is beginning to emerge, foreshadowing what’s likely to come as the White House and congressional Republicans begin to reverse, repeal, and replace federal laws and regulations. While Trump’s red-state supporters may be cheering now, they’ll soon feel the consequences.
Over 400 former EPA staff members sent a letter to the U.S. Senate asking its members to reject the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the agency’s new administrator, saying “he has shown no interest in enforcing environmental laws.”
The boycott in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee delayed the transition to a new administrator for the agency. Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, said he could not support Pruitt, a Republican and the attorney general of Oklahoma, because he “denies the sum of empirical science and the urgency to act on climate change.”
Authoritarians love walls. That will be his scrawl across America. It will make an enemy of our neighbor, Mexico, but who cares? That may be his foreign policy in a nutshell. We’re living in Donald Trump’s reality now, and the “truth” is what Trump says it is.
Seizing on Trump’s favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts – borrowing names and logos of their agencies – to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed.
“If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear,” said an EPA staffer, who added that agency employees were scrambling to save some of the information housed on the website, or convince the Trump administration to preserve parts of it.
One EPA employee aware of the freeze said he had never seen anything like it in nearly a decade with the agency. Hiring freezes happened, he said, but freezes on grants and contracts seemed extraordinary. The employee said the freeze appeared to be nationwide, and as of Monday night it was not clear for how long it would be in place.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, took part in a contentious hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Pruitt’s hearing largely focused on his deep ties to polluting energy companies and track record of opposing the EPA’s clean air and water safeguards.
Democratic Senators quizzed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, over his energy industry ties during a contentious confirmation hearing on Wednesday that was briefly interrupted by protesters.
According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, just over 60 percent of Americans think it would be wrong to weaken wildlife protections and air and water regulations to bolster the energy industry. The poll also showed that 39 percent of Americans want to see a decrease in coal mining and oil drilling on U.S. federal lands in the coming years.
The EPA accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators’ investigation of rival Volkswagen AG.
Media could apply the lessons left by scant coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline and Flint to empower these communities and bring attention to the many other ongoing situations of disproportionate impact that desperately need attention
“What that conduct says about your ability to lead EPA in a manner that is not beholden to special or secret interests is a subject that we expect will receive a full airing during your confirmation hearing,” the senators wrote in the letter.
Energy lobbyists have drafted several letters that Pruitt sent under his own name to the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and even President Obama. Evidently, Pruitt prefers to let Big Oil put the words in his mouth, and on paper.