Magazine article The New American

Attacks Mount on Those Trying to Run Interior, EPA the Right Way

Magazine article The New American

Attacks Mount on Those Trying to Run Interior, EPA the Right Way

Article excerpt

Item: In an article entitled "Trump unites Democrats and Republicans--to oppose his offshore drilling plan, " the Los Angeles Times for January 11, 2018 reported: "Members of Congress from both parties and both coasts have intensified their opposition to the Trump administration's plan to open almost all of America s outer continental shelf to energy exploration. "

Item: Writing in USA Today for January 12, 2018, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) objected to the decision by the Interior Department to exempt Florida from the Trump administration s proposed offshore oil drilling plan, saying this reeked of illegal political favoritism.

Also, said Lieu: "Offshore drilling creates extraordinary safety concerns for coastal communities and ecosystems. Instead of fighting climate change and looking at wind, tidal and wave energy development, the Trump administration is barreling towards crisis after crisis with this plan."

Item: The Los Angeles Times for January 18, 2018 reported: "One year into the Trump administration s unrelenting push to dilute and disable clean air and water policies, the impact is being felt in communities across the country. Power plants have been given expanded license to pollute, the dirtiest trucks are being allowed to remain on the roads and punishment of the biggest environmental scofflaws is on the decline."

"The numbers emerging from the federal government's database of enforcement actions against polluters show that from the time Pruitt took the helm early last year through November, the dollar amount of pollution-control equipment and cleanup activity the EPA demanded dropped by more than 85%."

In an attempt to buttress its case against the Trump administration, the Times cited comments by an official from the previous administration: " 'It is one thing to say we have a change of administration and a different level of emphasis and focus, ' said Cynthia Giles, who led the EPA 's enforcement office during the Obama administration and has analyzed the recent data. 'But this kind of drop is not a change of emphasis. That is abandonment. That is a very, very big deal.'"

Correction: If you want to make a mountain out of a molehill, it helps to add dirt. The "dirt" is largely fear-mongering. The political and media adversaries of the current top officials contend that community safety around the nation is being sacrificed to the gods of the oil industry and claims that power plants are now being given free rein to pollute. These agencies have abandoned--or so we are supposed to believe--all of the wondrous edicts of their predecessors that produced universal sweetness and light, and have now enlisted with the venal forces of the dark side. Catastrophes are said to loom on every front because omniscient progressive crusaders are no longer in charge.

Moreover, testifying to the reputed evil intentions of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, he has presided over the shrinking of the workforce of his agency by--can you believe it!?--a monstrous 4.1 percent (as compared to the end of 2016). The EPA staff is smaller than it has been in more than three decades. (It is down to "about 14,000 workers," by several recent accounts.) The president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which represents EPA employees, maintains that Pruitt is "basically doing everything he can to gut the agency of quality personnel."

We could fill pages with the hypothesized wickedness of the regulatory officials of the current administration at various levels. Bloomberg Businessweek, for example, in late December ran a lengthy tirade about those running the agencies (the title, "In Trump's Washington, Foxes Guard the Henhouse," gives away the foregone conclusion).

The president's Cabinet, we are assured, is "studded with people who fought to undermine the missions of the agencies they now lead." To drive home the point, the publication not surprisingly found a leftist New England politician to quote, Rhode Island's junior Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. …

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