Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Long Knives are Out for Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt Is Trump’s Biggest Asset. That’s Why The Left Wants Him Gone
After Donald Trump, the individual in DC with the biggest target on his back is Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. When he was attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA more than a dozen times to get the powerful regulatory agency to stay within its legal authority. His nomination was deeply concerning to radical environmentalists inside and outside the media. As a result, he and his team have been under a microscope since even before his confirmation in early 2017.

Well-funded environmental groups, many with former EPA staffers, deluge the agency with FOIA requests to catch someone in a scandal. Unlike how they covered Obama-era EPA administrators, media outlets constantly request information about everything Pruitt does, from his schedule to his travel particulars. Whipped-up partisans have made unprecedented numbers of death threats against him and his family. Powerful liberals opine against him.
And then they complain about the cost of his security measures.
Pruitt is not some anti-environmentalist but someone who wants the EPA to do what Congress charges it with doing to improve the nation’s environment. So he awarded $100 million to upgrade drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and began an effort to eradicate lead poisoning from drinking water. He committed additional funds to deal with the EPA’s botching of the Gold King Mine release that polluted Colorado and Utah.

There are poor ways, average ways, and shrewd ways to tackle the constitutional problems that arise from the administrative state. Many Republicans either don’t realize the problems of an unelected bureaucracy’s power, or fail to combat those problems effectively. Pruitt is in the final category, demonstrating competency and a devotion to rule of law. And he has the courage that so many of his GOP peers lack, not being intimidated by the normal media frenzy that intimidates other Republican appointees.
Recently, a coordinated attempt to oust him has taken shape, as this liberal TV producer notes:

Trump and the US need Scott Pruitt to stay at EPA
Last fall, Pruitt announced that EPA grantees would no longer be allowed to serve on advisory boards. They can pick one or the other – be a grant recipients or an adviser – but the clear conflict in filling both roles will no longer be permitted.

Then just last week, Pruitt announced that EPA would no longer rely on “secret science” in issuing regulations.
But all the best science is "secret", amirite?
It would, of course, be better if the Senate passed the House bills and sent them to President Trump to sign. But until that can happen, Pruitt has taken the reins and implemented the policies on his own. Bravo.

Pruitt has also taken a keen interest in getting so-called toxic waste sites – known as Superfund sites – cleaned up. These cleanups suffered from years of neglect by the Obama administration, which had thrown all its attention and resources into global warming hysteria and destroying the coal industry.

There is much more EPA reform to come from Pruitt, as he is just hitting his stride. Now is not the time to change horses.

First, President Trump would have a hard time finding an EPA chief as competent and committed as Pruitt. Next, even if the president did, Senate Democrats would go all out to block confirmation.

President Trump should ignore the partisan attacks over trivialities. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball of EPA reform and restraint. Our national interest demands it.

Just let Pruitt do it.
Dems And EPA Insiders Are Freaking Out Over Trump’s Refusal To Nix Pruitt
“It definitely seems like there’s some backstabbing going on,” one political appointee, who joined the agency in 2017 after Pruitt became administrator, told Politico Friday about the atmosphere at EPA headquarters. The person added: “Everybody is out for themselves right now.”

The atmosphere is like “a slow-motion train wreck at the moment,” one career official, who joined the EPA during the Obama-era, told Politico. “I was placing bets he’d (Pruitt) be out by the Fourth of July, but at this rate, he’ll be out by the end of the month,” another staffer said.

Other career officials are concerned about where the cascade of internal leaks are originating, according to Politico. The recent flurry of reports has relied mostly on anonymous sources. Some of them might be disgruntled former Trump administration officials, according to Inside EPA — an online subscription-based outlet that reports exclusively on EPA-related news.
The nation needs more ex-EPA employees.

Leftist Double Standards: Bashing Scott Pruitt While Ignoring Obama's EPA Scandals
Here now, a sampling of the Obama EPA scandals that many want you to forget while they continue to attack Scott Pruitt.

1. FOIA requests denied for conservatives, accelerated for radical environmentalists
In his new book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama, Matt Margolis points out
The EPA granted fee waivers to 75 of 82 FOIA requests by green groups for a 92 percent approval rate. But it denied or ignored 21 of 26 fee waivers requests by conservative groups for an 81 percent denial rate. Every denial was overturned on appeal.
2. Lisa Jackson has an alter ego - Remember Richard Windsor? That was the name chosen by Obama's EPA chief, Lisa Jackson, when she wanted to use personal email to coordinate her efforts with radical environmental groups without any oversight. This subterfuge was discovered by Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Horner has used FOIA requests relentlessly to unearth government agencies operating outside of their designed roles. Jackson was forced to resign over the scandal.

3. Animas River spill - In August 2015, the EPA caused a 3 million gallon leak of contaminated water from a defunct mine near Silverton, Colo., which turned the Animas River yellow. The wastewater contained lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, zinc, iron, copper, and other heavy metal and chemical contaminants. The EPA failed to notify local residents of their operation until after the spill, which affected drinking water, farms, ranches, fish, and everything else that relies on that river. The EPA delayed notifying the public of the blowout, exacerbating the problem. Subsequent FOIA requests revealed that the EPA knew of the risk of a blowout and failed to take the proper steps to avoid it. To date, the EPA has refused to pay $1.3 billion in claims by affected residents.

4. Particulate matter regulations - In the 1990s, the EPA created the particulate matter regulations that defined levels of particulate matter in the air as toxic pollutants. Since then, the agency has used this precedent to create all sorts of other regulations. The only problem? The rule was based on data from the 1970s that was unable to be duplicated, unable to be analyzed because it was lost, and failed to account for a significant numer of variables. In other words, there was no science behind this rule. Regardless, the EPA continued to use these regulations to place significant burdens on businesses and municipalities, while also using these regulations as the model for the Obama attack on coal-fired power plants.

5. The curious case of John Beale - In 2013, EPA bureaucrat John Beale was convicted of defrauding the government of almost $900,000 in unearned salary and bonuses. Most observers believe the amount was much higher. After writing the particulate matter regulations, Beale became a sort of demi-god at the EPA. Being incapable of doing wrong, he created elaborate lies about being a CIA agent, needing a special parking space after contracting malaria in Vietnam, and skipping work to go to Langley for meetings with his handlers. The Obama administration relied on Beale, the highest paid employee at EPA at the time, as an expert on climate change—despite his utter lack of training on the issue.

6. Sue and settle - Beale had his hand in another fishy tactic utilized by the EPA. The creation of the particulate matter regulations came about as a result of the first instance of "sue and settle," in which friendly bureaucrats negotiate settlements with activist groups. In the case of the particulate matter regulations, the American Lung Association had sued the EPA to expedite the creation of the regulations, and a court order imposed a deadline on the agency. The Obama administration stuffed the EPA with former employees of radical environmental organizations, and then put them in charge of negotiating settlements when those organizations sued. This allowed the EPA to bypass the normal rulemaking process with congressional oversight because they were under court order. Incidentally, Pruitt put an end to this practice in October 2017, another reason he's been targeted for destruction by the Left.

So, in conclusion, before anyone tells you that Scott Pruitt is a historically corrupt Republican doing the bidding of corporate polluters, or whatever the talking point is today, remind them of recent history.
I've complained about all of these at one time or another. Good to see the list put together.

 Scott Pruitt, Warrior for Science
Imagine if the head of a federal agency announced a new policy for its scientific research: from now on, the agency would no longer allow its studies to be reviewed and challenged by independent scientists, and its researchers would not share the data on which their conclusions were based. The response from scientists and journalists would be outrage. By refusing peer review from outsiders, the agency would be rejecting a fundamental scientific tradition. By not sharing data with other researchers, it would be violating a standard transparency requirement at leading scientific journals. If a Republican official did such a thing, you’d expect to hear denunciations of this latest offensive in the “Republican war on science.”

That’s the accusation being hurled at Scott Pruitt, the Republican who heads the Environmental Protection Agency. But Pruitt hasn’t done anything to discourage peer review. In fact, he’s done the opposite: he has called for the use of more independent experts to review the EPA’s research and has just announced that the agency would rely only on studies for which data are available to be shared. Yet Democratic officials and liberal journalists have denounced these moves as an “attack on science,” and Democrats have cited them (along with accusations of ethical violations) in their campaign to force Pruitt out of his job.

How could “the party of science,” as Democrats like to call themselves, be opposed to transparency and peer review? Because better scientific oversight would make it tougher for the EPA to justify its costly regulations. To environmentalists, rigorous scientific protocols are fine in theory, but not in practice if they interfere with the green political agenda. As usual, the real war on science is the one waged from the left.
Don't Let the Left Take Scott Pruitt's Scalp

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