The knives are out for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. It’s so blatant that even liberals have noticed. Pruitt is paying a terrible price for the crime of being the most effective player in Trump’s administration. And, of course, for daring to take on the most powerful vested interest in the swamp – the Green Blob, aka the Climate Industrial Complex. The Green Blob by no means comprises merely Democrats. Consider the array of Blobsters trying to bring Pruitt down. Besides the usual leftist suspects such as John Podesta their number also includes conservatives such as The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol, the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. What on earth did Pruitt do wrong? Well, there’s the Green Blob narrative version of events which is that Scott Pruitt has become embroiled in a number of “scandals” which render him unfit for public office. If you really care, Google them. To my, admittedly pro-Pruitt eyes they all seem trivial – negotiating a cheap rate for a DC condo; wangling some of his staffers a better pay deal; thinking about leasing a private jet – to the point of worthlessness. Ever since Pruitt took the job, the EPA has been deluged with FOIA requests by activist bodies trying to bring him down. They evidently haven’t been able to come up with much. Pruitt’s critics might sound less partisan, more credible if his predecessors hadn’t been about a thousand times more venal, profligate and dishonest. As Mollie Hemingway notes in this excellent piece for The Federalist Pruitt’s predecessors got a more or less free pass from an uncritical media: “The media and activists didn’t treat Obama’s EPA secretary, Lisa Jackson, with any rigor, despite her demonstrable corruption. She used the alias “Richard Windsor” to correspond secretly with people outside of the EPA, including with environmental activists and the man who would lead the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. When this same woman criticized the Trump administration for lack of transparency, almost nobody in the media pointed out how ludicrous a messenger she was. She’s now a VP at Apple. When the EPA broke laws, only conservative media showed any interest. It’s not that there was no media coverage of the EPA-caused Gold King Mine spill, the EPA-ignored Flint Water Crisis, the EPA administrator misleading Congress, the EPA violating federal propaganda policies, or many other problems under Jackson and her Obama replacement Gina McCarthy, but it was never done with the same bloodthirsty frenzy surrounding Pruitt. Not even a tiny fraction of it.” Hemingway goes on to finger the real reason for all this anti-Pruitt sentiment: “For many people on the left, EPA regulations touch on quasi-religious views. They treat people like Pruitt as heretics who must be destroyed.” Exactly. Ever since it was founded by Richard Nixon, the EPA has acted primarily as one of the left’s bulwarks against free markets, liberty and industrial progress. Yes, of course lots of other left-wing organizations seek constantly to undermine those values too. The key difference with the EPA is that it masquerades as a responsible semi-independent agency which does its due diligence, observes the scientific method and which is quite above party politics. That’s what has made it so dangerous. And why it was so imperative that Trump had to rein it in – in a way that his Republican predecessors so shamingly failed to do. The knives are out for Pruitt because he has done such a devastatingly effective job. Trump cannot afford to let the swamp claim his best player’s scalp.
I don’t know if Scott is Trump’s “best player.” But, he certainly is a loyal, and hard-working member of Team Trump’s cabinet. And, it would be a shame if he were let go. He’s out there fighting the good fight, and needs our support. Thanks to James Delingpole for this spot-on op/ed.