PBS airs anti- Pruitt documentary funded by environmentalist group backer

A new PBS Frontline documentary that paints Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt as a tool for the fossil fuel industry received major funding from a group that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to environmentalist activists like the Sierra Club. The documentary, “War on the EPA,” received major support from the Kendeda Fund, an Atlanta-based nonprofit focused on the environment and sustainability. The documentary features interviews with numerous Obama administration backers, including Gina McCarthy, the former EPA administrator, and Betsy Southerland, a former EPA director making $250,000 who claimed earlier this year she resigned in protest because of the Trump administration’s budget. Southerland was eligible for early retirement and told coworkers she was retiring because of family issues. Southerland tells PBS that Pruitt’s EPA is a “clear and present danger to public health and safety in this country.” The documentary calls critics of the Obama administration’s wide-ranging regulatory actions targeting the coal industry and nuclear power plants “climate deniers” and “extreme.” The PBS narrator refers to Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) as “the Senate’s leading climate change denier” and features Jane Mayer, a journalist with the New Yorker, calling the Trump EPA “radical.” “What you see now in the Trump administration is the triumph of the anti-environmental movement,” Mayer says. “They are now in control of the government and in control of the regulatory process in a kind of a brazen way we haven’t seen before.” Obama administration alums are depicted as crusaders against pollution, as they appear in interviews dismayed by President Trump and Pruitt following through on campaign promises to roll back environmental regulations.

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