Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt Is An Ethics Nightmare, But So Is Ryan Zinke

Read time: 10 mins

By David Halperin, crossposted from Republic Report

A Westerner appointed to President Trump’s cabinet, he’s drawn attention for his penchant for expensive travel, vanity perquisites of office, abuse of agency staff time, and cozy personal financial deals with business executives whose industries he oversees. Meanwhile, he has denied the dangers of climate change, met extensively with corporate lobbyists, and gutted the environmental protections implemented by prior administrations.

Yes, that’s entitled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, whose record of seeking personal luxuries and advantages at taxpayer expense, while gearing policy to polluting industries, and punishing subordinates who object, is breathtakingly awful.

But it also pretty well describes Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

EPA Staff Say the Trump Administration Is Changing Their Mission From Protecting Human Health and the Environment to Protecting Industry

Read time: 7 mins
Protesters at a rally against the current state of the EPA

By Chris Sellers, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York); Lindsey Dillon, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Phil Brown, Northeastern University

The Environmental Protection Agency made news recently for excluding reporters from a “summit” meeting on chemical contamination in drinking water. Episodes like this are symptoms of a larger problem: an ongoing, broad-scale takeover of the agency by industries it regulates.

Trump Skipping G7 Meeting on Climate, Clean Energy, Oceans

Read time: 3 mins
Justin Trudeau greets Donald Trump at the G7 meeting

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

President Donald Trump headed for the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada on Friday but will be leaving before Saturday's meeting on climate changeclean energy and oceans. The White House said an aide will take Trump's place, CNN reported.

Emails Reveal Pruitt and EPA Coordinating with Climate-Denying Heartland Institute

Read time: 4 mins
Scott Pruitt

A lawsuit filed in March by the Southern Environmental Law Center and Environmental Defense Fund has revealed new levels of coordination between Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the climate science-denying think tank the Heartland Institute.

Scott Pruitt's Approach to Pollution Control Will Make the Air Dirtier and Americans Less Healthy

Read time: 6 mins
Pruitt
By Robert Percival, University of Maryland

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethical lapses and extravagant spending habits have distracted the public from what he is doing to roll back important environmental protections.

On Rollbacks, Automakers Tell Trump 'Not So Fast,' Kochs Say 'Burn More Gas'

Read time: 5 mins
Trump and Pence meet with automaker industry leaders

It’s a classic case of be careful what you wish for. Automakers asked the Trump administration to weaken emissions and efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, and are now anxious about just how much the Trump administration actually plans to weaken the standards.

On Friday, May 12, heads of car companies visited the White House, to make the awkward request that Trump not actually give them what they asked for.

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections

Read time: 8 mins
Scott Pruitt

Back in 2008, residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas received a notice in the mail advising them to drink bottled water instead of tap water — a move that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal memos at the time described as “one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public.”

The culprit: wastewater from oil and gas drilling and coal mines. This included fracking wastewater that state officials had allowed to be dumped at local sewer plants — facilities incapable of removing the complex mix of chemicals, corrosive salts, and radioactive materials from that kind of industrial waste before they piped the “treated” water back into Pennsylvania's rivers.

EPA's Scott Pruitt Dined With Fellow Climate Science Denier and Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell, Documents Show

Read time: 3 mins
Scott Pruitt

One of the Catholic church's most powerful figures, Australian climate science denier Cardinal George Pell, dined with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt and discussed a plan to set up a two-sided “debate” about human-caused climate change, it has been revealed.

According to documents collated by The New York Times, administrator Pruitt joined Pell and others for a $240-per-head dinner in June 2017, an engagement that was left off official schedules of Pruitt's Vatican visit.

In an email sent during the dinner, one EPA staff member said that Pell and Pruitt had discussed a Wall Street Journal article reporting on proposals for a military-style “red team/blue team” debate on climate science.

Climate science denial groups, including the Heartland Institute, have been pushing the idea of such a debate for years.  The proposal from Pruitt for the debate appears to be on hold.

Climate Science Denial Group GWPF Rejected by Scandal-Hit EPA Chief Scott Pruitt

Read time: 2 mins
Scott Pruitt

Even Scott Pruitt — the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief known rarely to turn down a freebie — doesn’t want to have anything to do with the UK’s premier climate science denial group.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) invited Pruitt to give its annual lecture in 2017. Pruitt either rejected or ignored the invite, as it was ultimately former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott that took to the stage.

Scott Pruitt's Secret Science Plan Was Developed to Defend Tobacco and It Could Be Coming for Clean Air Rules

Read time: 7 mins
Powell Tate Secret Science action plan

In early 1998, lobbying and PR company Powell Tate was busy with a strategy to protect its tobacco industry clients from health and safety regulations.

Costing roughly $200,000, the plan was called “Secret Science” and would be a public affairs campaign “mounted in three phases” to influence the public, scientists, corporations, and policymakers. 

After “laying the groundwork,” the plan was to build “a critical mass of outrage” and then offer a solution to all the outrage and division the campaign had whipped up.

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