Why does Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt demand 24-hour armed security? Why does EPA staff need an escort to access him in his office (and are often forbidden to bring phones and notepads)? Exactly what’s happening to public safety and environmental protection behind closed doors? With a distracting new crisis occurring in Washington every day, it can be challenging to keep track.
Pruitt is quietly and systematically gutting the EPA, per Trump’s agenda. In just his first four months, Pruitt worked to undo, delay or otherwise block over 30 existing environmental rules. He works with almost no input from the 15,000 career EPA employees. Instead, he usually seeks advice from members of the very industries he regulates.
Just a few examples of Pruitt’s handiwork:
After pressure from Dow Chemical Company, Pruitt reversed a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide the EPA’s own scientists have said is linked to damage of children’s nervous systems.
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Agricultural interests have lobbied heavily for the repeal of an Obama-era regulation designed to limit pollution in the nation’s waterways — including Puget Sound. In late June, Pruitt filed a legal plan to repeal this rule.
Fossil fuel companies are getting a reprieve on limiting methane leaks. Pruitt has delayed a rule that would require these companies to do so.
Big business may feel like they are winning, with their usual greed and short-sightedness. But there won’t be any place to spend their money. An inhabitable Earth will be gone. We will all be losers.