One of my greatest fears of this President going in has been a retrenchment on dealing with climate change and environmental protections. While other concerns have surfaced on his watch, my initial fears are warranted. Selecting Scott Pruitt, a state attorney general who has sued the EPA multiple times, is not conducive to protecting the environment.
Announcing the future pull out of the Paris Climate Change Accord was an ominous step. Taking climate change science information off the EPA website is another. Reshuffling climate change scientists to less productive positions is another.
Yet there is more. Allowing coal companies to dump pollutants in our waterways is a metaphor for the new EPA. Pruitt is letting people pee in our pool. And, just this week, there are two announcements worth noting.
First, The Huffington Post has reported an internal memo from a direct report to Pruitt that tells EPA people to play down the science behind the climate change conclusions. This is not dissimilar to the governors of Wisconsin and Florida telling their staffs they could not use the terms climate change and global warming in dealing with the public. And, it is not dissimilar to George W. Bush’s Council on the Environment altering reports that used the words global warming or climate change.
Second, it is reported that the miles per gallon requirements placed on new cars introduced by President Obama will be rolled back. US car companies celebrate the announcement, but the environment and people will suffer. And, what is not discussed, our auto industry will fall behind as foreign car companies will move ahead with better mpg requirements. It should be noted, twelve states are prepared to sue the EPA on this change should it go through, one being California.
Pruitt is supposed to be the leader of the EPA. His people have to be one demoralized group to see a man who obviously cares less about the environment, let industry pollute more. Yet, on a bright note, cities, states and businesses are moving climate change and environmental issues forward, more than picking up the slack caused by this anemic administration.