Scott Pruitt

Analysis: Pruitt Is Gone, but Trump Is Still Winning the Energy Wars

Hollywood’s whoopings and ululations over the departure of Scott Pruitt tell you all you need to know. This was never about saving the environment. It was about desperate, vengeful progressives claiming a political scalp as their peevish sop to console themselves for their despair that Donald Trump is #winning. It’s a big scalp, too, to give them their miserable due. Scott Pruitt was not only the most effective Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief in the institution’s 48-year history (not difficult, admittedly, given the dismal quality of his predecessors). But he was also one of the most able facilitators of Trump’s project to Make America Great Again. He gave Trump the moral support he needed to make the key decision (opposed by many within the White House, notably Javanka and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Also – after a bit of prodding: initially, Pruitt did not seem to get it, but with some good advice, he grew into the job – he began dismantling all the disastrous Obama-era legislation which had ostensibly been devised to protect the environment but was really just another facet of the left’s war on personal freedom and Western industrial civilization. The Waters of the U.S. Rule; the Clean Power Plan: these were not really about saving nature, but, respectively, a left-wing grab on property rights and a left-wing assault on industry. Under the new EPA, both those rattlesnakes have been defanged and will shortly be crushed underfoot. So whatever satisfaction the left may derive from the tiny victory of booting Pruitt out of office, they’ve still lost the war. They may gloat all they like, those “progressives.” But this is, at best, a Pyrrhic victory for them. Pruitt is gone. His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, though, is their worst nightmare.

To find out why that may be the case, and read the rest of this outstanding op/ed by James Delingpole, click on the text above.  James is exactly right..  Scott Pruitt may be gone at EPA.  But, his legacy of dismantling much of the out-of-control, Enviro-fascism imposed on us by the EPA spanning over 40 years, will be lasting.  So, we all owe Scott, despite his many personal shortcomings, a big debt of gratitude.  The extreme liberal nutcases at MSNBC and CNN, and Dems in the House, got their symbolic scalp.  BUT, as James correctly notes, the lost the substantive war.  And, they’ve lost it big time.   🙂

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” – the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data. Pruitt told Daily Caller: “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” This decision will correct a longstanding injustice at the EPA, perpetrated against the U.S. taxpayer. For years the EPA has been able to behave as a law unto itself, cavalierly passing regulations which restrict freedoms, hamper business and hold back the U.S. economy for reasons which have much more to do with left-leaning environmentalist politics than with objective science. The problem dates back to the early 1990s when the EPA decided it wanted to regulate fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 but couldn’t find any hard scientific evidence proving it was harmful. Steve Milloy takes up the story in the Wall Street Journal: “PM2.5 was not known to cause death, but by 1994 EPA-supported scientists had developed two lines of research purporting to show that it did. When the studies were run past the EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, it balked. It believed the studies relied on dubious statistical analysis and asked for the underlying data. The EPA ignored the request. As the EPA prepared to issue its proposal for PM2.5 regulation in 1996, Congress stepped in. Rep. Thomas Bliley, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, sent a sharply written letter to Administrator Carol Browner asking for the data underlying studies. Ms. Browner delegated the response to a subordinate, who told Mr. Bliley the EPA saw “no useful purpose” in obtaining the data. Congress responded by inserting a provision in a 1998 bill requiring that data used to support federal regulation must be made available to the public via the Freedom of Information Act. But it was hastily written, and a federal appellate court held the law unenforceable in 2003. The controversy went dormant until 2011, when a newly Republican Congress took exception to the Obama EPA’s anticoal rules, which relied on the same PM2.5 studies. Again the EPA was defiant. Administrator Gina McCarthy refused requests for the data sets and defied a congressional subpoena.” The EPA has form here. Its first administrator, William Ruckelshaus banned the use of DDT in the U.S. despite copious evidence that it was not harmful to human life. A seven month EPA hearing, presided over by Judge Edmund Sweeney, concluded in a 9,000 page document: “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man…DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man…The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.” Ruckelshaus simply ignored it because it did not suit the result he wanted. Needless to say, the environmentalists are furious that the EPA now has to stick to science rather than political activism. The New York Times has billed it as “an attack on science” – as if, somehow, scientific experiments conducted in secret for political ends are somehow more representative of “science” than experiments which are both open and independently reproducible.

Agreed!!  And well said, James.  James Delingpole is responsible for that outstanding op/ed.  For more, click on the text above.   Excellent!!     🙂

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is Doing Great! Trump Cannot Afford to Let the Green Blob Claim His Scalp

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.

Analysis: Scott Pruitt Is #Winning, Bans Junk Science from Environmental Protection Agency

Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” – the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data. Pruitt told Daily Caller: “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” This decision will correct a longstanding injustice at the EPA, perpetrated against the U.S. taxpayer. For years the EPA has been able to behave as a law unto itself, cavalierly passing regulations which restrict freedoms, hamper business and hold back the U.S. economy for reasons which have much more to do with left-leaning environmentalist politics than with objective science. The problem dates back to the early 1990s when the EPA decided it wanted to regulate fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 but couldn’t find any hard scientific evidence proving it was harmful.

Kudos to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for trying to bring some sanity to the EPA.  For more on this excellent op/ed from James Delingpole, just click on the text above.    🙂

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.

If you really want to read the rest of this vomit-worthy article, click on the text above.

Analysis: The Great Regulatory Rollback

One by one, the artifacts of President Barack Obama’s rule by administrative fiat are tumbling. The latest is his signature Clean Power Plan, which Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt says he will begin the arduous process of unwinding. The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has been characterized — despite his bumptiousness — not by executive overreach, but executive retrenchment. Trump the populist has operated within constitutional lines better than his technocratic predecessor, who used tendentious readings of the law and sweeping bureaucratic actions to impose his policies on immigration, health care, college campuses, and the environment. The Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, was government by the administrative state on a scale that has never been attempted before. The EPA took a dubious reading of a portion of the Clean Air Act (Section 111, which arguably prevented the EPA from taking this action rather than empowered it to do so) and used it to mandate that the states adopt far-reaching plans to reduce carbon emissions, under threat of the loss of federal highway funds. The legal foundation of the Clean Power Plan was so rickety that the Supreme Court took the extraordinary step of blocking its implementation pending all the lawsuits against it. The presumption of the plan was jaw-dropping. The EPA usually targets pollutants; carbon dioxide isn’t one (although the Supreme Court erroneously said that it meets the definition in the case of Massachusetts v. EPA). The EPA has always regulated specific power plants; in this scheme, it went “outside the fence” to mandate broader actions by the states, e.g., the adoption of quotas for renewable energy. The EPA once considered its mandate to be protecting clear air and water for Americans; with the Clean Power Plan, it sought to adjust the global thermostat for the good of all of humanity. The last gets to the absurdity of the Clean Power Plan on its own terms — it did virtually nothing to affect global warming. As Benjamin Zycher of the American Enterprise Institute points out, the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan (which includes the Clean Power Plan) would reduce the global temperature by 15 one-thousandths of a degree by 2100. The point wasn’t to fight climate change per se, but to signal our climate virtue in the hopes of catalyzing action by other nations and, not incidentally, hobble the U.S. coal industry in favor of more politically palatable sources of energy, namely wind and solar. Whatever the merits of this agenda, as a first-order matter, it must be enacted lawfully and not instituted by strained legal interpretations alone. In congressional testimony arguing that the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional, liberal law professor Laurence Tribe noted that the Supreme Court has said that Congress doesn’t “hide elephants in mouse holes.” If Congress had authorized the EPA to remake the nation’s energy economy, we would presumably be aware of it and recall an impassioned congressional debate over this radical and costly change. In fact, the opposite is true. Congress has declined to enact laws limiting carbon emissions, including when Democrats held both houses of Congress under President Obama. If the future of the planet is at stake and it requires a generational effort to save it, surely it is not too much to ask that a statute or two be enacted by Congress explicitly committing the country to the task. Yes, this requires winning elections and gaining democratic assent, but such are the challenges of living in a republic and a nation of laws. In his impatience with Congress and his administrative imperiousness, President Obama dispensed with all that. What he imposed unilaterally is subject to unilateral reversal. The rollback will encounter its own regulatory and legal obstacles, but can be achieved more readily than if Obama had been able or bothered to write a swath of his legacy into law.

Agreed…  Rich Lowry is responsible for that analysis.  Excellent!

EPA chief Pruitt announces end of Clean Power Plan

Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration would roll back Obama era regulation on coal-fired power plants. “I’m here to make an announcement that’s very, very important for you. Tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., I’ll be signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule,” Mr. Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said at an event in Kentucky. The Clean Power Plan aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, especially coal-burning plants, and increase renewable energy resources. States had to submit plans to the EPA on how they planned to reduce those emissions late last year. The regulation has been challenged in court on the constitutionality of the plan. In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gave the EPA an additional 60 days to review the plan and submit their position to the court before settling on the legality of the rule. “The president sent a message,” Mr. Pruitt said to much applause from the audience. “When you think about what that rule meant, that rule was about picking winners and losers.”

Scott Pruitt: Obama EPA ‘Failed’ to ‘Protect the Environment’ Following Devastating Colorado Gold King Mine Spill

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the site of the devastating Gold King Mine spill in Colorado that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated mine water into the Cement Creek and Animas River, saying the Obama EPA “failed” at its mission to protect the environment. “EPA should be held to the same standard as those we regulate,” Pruitt said about the visit that took place on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the spill. “The previous administration failed those who counted on them to protect the environment,” Pruitt said. The press announcement of the visit noted that in January 2017, the previous EPA administration denied 79 administrative claims filed by farmers, ranchers, homeowners, businesses, employees, state and local governments, as well as other individuals seeking damages in connection with the Gold King Mine incident. “Despite the release of 3 million gallons of contaminated water tainted with arsenic, lead and other heavy metals, which turned the Animas River mustard-yellow, and moved along the San Juan River through Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and American Indian land to Lake Powell in Utah, the EPA Administrator at the time, Gina McCarthy, nor President Obama nor Vice President Biden, ever visited the site of the spill itself,” the press release announcing the visit said. The visit fulfilled the promise Pruitt made during his confirmation hearing to visit the site. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper joined Pruitt for a tour of the site. Following the tour, EPA political appointees participated in a town hall in Durango, Colo. with local residents about how they were affected by the spill. “We want to listen and learn directly from the community,” Ken Wagner, senior advisor to the administrator for regional and state affairs, said. “The local community is ground zero in environmental disasters, and we want to hear their concerns and do our best to coordinate and provide assistance,” Wagner said. The Denver Post reported that Pruitt pointed out the hypocrisy on this disaster compared to the Obama administration’s anti-fossil fuel agenda. “I think it’s safe to say if this had been any other company, a BP-type of a situation, there would have been an investigation that would ensue by the agency and there would have been accountability,” Pruitt said. “That didn’t take place here. “The federal government should not be able to hide behind sovereign immunity when the facts don’t meet the protections,” Pruitt said. “In my estimation, the EPA walked away from those folks and left them in a position of incurring damages without taking accountability,” Pruitt said.

EPA moves to nix Obama’s ‘waters of the US’ regulation

The Trump administration Tuesday announced plans to scrap an Obama-era environmental rule that had been attacked as federal overreach by farmers and property-rights groups. The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers said they would withdraw Obama’s 2015 “waters of the United States” — or WOTUS — regulation, which expanded the number of waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act. The agencies described a withdrawal process as an interim step and promised a broader review of which waters should fall under federal jurisdiction. “We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, adding that the re-evaluation would be “thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public.” The EPA and the Army Corps said dismantling the Obama rule would not change existing practices because the measure has been stayed by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in response to opponents’ lawsuits. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the move showed “the West has won in the battle over the Obama administration’s WOTUS rule. “This regulation would have been a disaster for rural communities in the West and across the country, giving Washington near-total control over water resources,” Ryan added. “The livelihoods of American farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs were at stake.” The debate over which waterways are covered under the Clean Water Act has dragged on for years and remains murky despite two Supreme Court rulings. The Obama rule expanded the definition of “navigable waters” to include “intermittent streams” — that is, streams that sometimes had no water in them at all.

Great news!!  This entirely unconstitutional Obama WOTUS rule/regulation has been a big government/brother disaster.  Glad to see EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt getting rid of it.  Excellent!!

DELINGPOLE: Scott Pruitt Says No to CO2 and Social Justice at EPA

Two pieces of excellent news from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that incoming administrator Scott Pruitt is doing the Lord’s work. First, he has come clean and said what he should have ‘fessed up to a while back: he doesn’t believe in the Carbon Fairy. Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” That phrase, “the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels,” is just a bit of New York Times editorializing, by the way. No serious person thinks that man-made carbon dioxide poses any kind of major climate threat because there’s just no evidence to support that theory. It’s just one of those cherished left-liberal myths that goes next to other fantasy concepts like “equality,” “sustainability,” and “social justice.” Speaking of which, the second piece of good news is that the Environmental Protection Agency has just lost its head of Environmental Justice. Probably you didn’t know that the EPA had a head of Environmental Justice, but you should because you’ve been paying his salary since the George H.W. Bush era. His name is Mustafa Ali, and, according to a tearful requiem in Inside Climate, he has resigned in protest at EPA budget cuts, which will see the agency lose 20 percent of its 15,000 staff and $2 billion from its $8 billion. “Jumped before he was pushed” is the phrase that comes to mind, for it is likely that Ali’s department will be dismantled altogether. Ali has written a resignation letter to Scott Pruitt saying what a mistake this would be. But if you go to the EPA’s website and see what the Environmental Justice Department has been doing for the last few years, you may disagree with this assessment.

Indeed!!  To read the rest of this excellent analytical op/ed by Mr. Delingpole, that you qill NOT find anywhere in the dominantly liberal mainstream media, click on the text above.