Planet Trump

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News from Ground Control: Planet Trump (Feb. 10)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Following last week’s suspension of rules to railroad President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency nominee, Scott Pruitt, through the Republican-led Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, a number of apparently false claims Pruitt made under oath have come to light.

This week, EWG called upon the Department of Justice to investigate Pruitt’s potentially false and misleading statements, in anticipation of the full Senate vote next week on his confirmation.

“Willfully providing misleading and outright false statements to Congress is illegal and must be taken seriously,” EWG President Ken Cook said. 

Here are several of this week’s deep dives on that development, along with those on the new administration’s other worrisome actions on the environment and public health.

Politico, Anthony Adragna (Feb. 9, 2017) Morning Energy

DEPARTMENT OF LONG SHOTS: The Environmental Working Group asked DOJ Wednesday to investigate whether EPA nominee Scott Pruitt “knowingly and willfully made” false statements during his confirmation hearing. The letter cites statements concerning regulation of mercury, the number of cases Pruitt participated in against the EPA and claims about his enforcement record as Oklahoma attorney general as especially troublesome.

STAT News, Sheila Kaplan (Feb. 8, 2017) ‘Kids Don’t Get a Second Chance’: EPA Staff Fear Cuts to Health Programs Under Trump

“The tragedy is that no one who voted for President Trump voted for dirty water, dirty air, or more dangerous pesticides in their food,” said Scott Faber, vice president of governmental affairs for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington. “But every indication is that Scott Pruitt will methodically weaken the basic environmental health protections.’’

Grist, Ari Phillips (Feb. 4, 2017) The Plan to Make the EPA “Great Again” Isn’t so Great for Science

Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, strongly disagrees.

“The secret science bill is just horsesh*t” he said. “No agency has more integrity when it comes to using science and being transparent than the EPA. This is a poorly disguised war on basic health and protections.”

Faber said the committee’s approach is nothing new to the Trump era, and that the efforts essentially follow the same playbook developed by the tobacco industry decades ago.

He said the hearing is part and parcel of a larger campaign to “sow doubt about science” with the ultimate goal being to delay or block basic consumer and worker environmental protections — whether they deal with pesticides, water pollution, air pollution, or worker safety.

Business Insider, Rafi Letzter (Feb. 6, 2017) Trump EPA Pick Scott Pruitt May Have Made a False Statement Under Oath to the Senate

Washington Post, Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin (Feb. 6, 2017) Hundreds of Current, Former EPA Employees Urge Senate to Reject Trump’s Nominee for the Agency

InsideClimate News, Georgina Gustin (Feb. 7, 2017) Sonny Perdue, Trump’s Agriculture Pick, Could Roll Back Forest Protections

StateImpact Oklahoma, Joe Wertz (Feb 7, 2017) As Pruitt’s Confirmation Vote to Lead EPA Nears, Watchdog Group Sues to See Communication with Fossil Fuel Industry

TIME, Justin Worland (Feb. 9, 2017) Americans Oppose President Trump’s Environmental Deregulation, Poll Says


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