Trump has finally risen to the defense of his embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt. Quite right too, for Pruitt is by some margin the best Administrator the Environmental Protection Agency has had since it was founded by Richard Nixon in 1970.
This is not just because Pruitt is so good. It’s also because his predecessors were so bad. Not merely incompetent, but in several cases actively corrupt, dishonest, and criminal.
As Steve Milloy notes here, all three past Democrat EPA administrators flagrantly violated public records laws, including the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):
After issuing a host of “midnight regulations” on her way out the door and despite a court order directing that all records be preserved, Clinton EPA chief Carol Browner ordered that her hard drive be erased on her last full day in office, January 19, 2001.
Obama’s first EPA chief Lisa Jackson was able to foil FOIA requesters until an intrepid one discovered that Jackson was using a false name or alias (i.e., “Richard Windsor”) to send and receive e-mail. Since no one but Jackson’s close associates knew about “Richard Windsor,” FOIA requests coming in for e-mails to/from “Lisa Jackson” produced pretty much nothing
Obama’s second EPA chief, Gina McCarthy, opted for Browner’s means of ducking public records requirements. She simply deleted 5,000 text messages rather than turn them over for public scrutiny. Oh, and did I mention that McCarthy used private email to conduct agency business?
A 1998 law known as the “Shelby Amendment” requires that if federal agencies are going to rely on scientific data for regulation, that data must be publicly available by FOIA for purposes of replication. Obama EPA administrators Jackson and McCarthy were so uncooperative with that law while issuing their “war on coal” rules that Congress was forced to subpoena EPA for the relevant data in order to conduct its lawful oversight. EPA chief McCarthy completely ignored the subpoena.
Arguably even worse was the way the Obama-era EPA actually used humans illegally as guinea pigs for their experiments:
Then there is the Nuremberg Code concerning human scientific experiments and the federal regulations that are supposed to implement its humane principles. Although the law bars treating human subjects in scientific studies like guinea pigs (as the Nazis infamously did), Obama EPA administrators Jackson and McCarthy oversaw an agency that put elderly asthmatics in a gas chamber and made them inhale air pollutants that EPA scientists had labeled as “deadly.” The EPA was actually trying to hurt these people in order to justify their junk science-fueled air quality regulations. EPA admitted as much in federal court with me.
Both Jackson and McCarthy told Congress that there was no safe exposure to these pollutants, but they nevertheless allowed for elderly and sick human guinea pigs to be exposed to concentrated diesel fumes from an idling truck. They really did.
Yes, they really did. Can you imagine the headlines in the liberal MSM if Scott Pruitt had attempted anything like this? But when Obama’s apparatchiks did it they got a free pass.
Meanwhile, here is a list of the crimes Scott Pruitt has committed so far during his stint as EPA chief.
- Rolling back President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations that was estimated to cost 400,000 American jobs and reduce our nation’s gross domestic product by $2.5 trillion dollars.
- Addressing EPA’s overly-broad Waters of the United States rule, which threatened private property rights by considering even ditches that occasionally fill with rain as areas subject to federal jurisdiction.
- Revising the Obama-era fuel economy standards which were estimated to increase new car prices by $3,800 per vehicle, while providing negligible climate benefits.
- Taking important steps to making EPA more transparent by no longer allowing the use of “secret science” in developing federal regulations, instead requiring that the agency make the data and methodology of studies used in rule-making available to the public.
- Acting as the cabinet’s lead advocate for withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, an illegal treaty estimated to cost American families thousands of dollars in lost income while only reducing global temperatures by less than two-tenths of a degree.
- Ending the EPA’s sue-and-settle agreements, which radical environmentalists have manipulated for years to use taxpayer money to dictate energy and environmental policy.
- Re-focusing EPA on its core functions, like cleaning up the nation’s most toxic Superfund sites. In his first year as Secretary, the EPA cleaned up and removed seven sites on the National Priorities List.
- Helpfully reengaging with state regulators, working to efficiently review state water quality standards in a timely manner, dropping wait times from 120 days to 60 days.
Is it any wonder that the Green Blob is so keen to destroy him?
President Trump Just Addressed Pruitt’s Scandals — He’s ‘Doing A Great Job’
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 01: U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump pledged on the campaign trail to withdraw from the accord, which former President Barack Obama and the leaders of 194 other countries signed in 2015. The agreement is intended to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming to a manageable level. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Trump delivered a ringing endorsement of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on Twitter Saturday, in the wake of damaging media coverage alleging the administration head’s misuse of taxpayer dollars.
“While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA,” Trump wrote. “Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!”
While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
Pruitt has come under fire of late for a bevy of scandals involving his living arrangements while in Washington, D.C., expensive flights, and an unusually large security detail.
In the tweet, Trump explained the large security detail by the “death threats” Pruitt has received because of his “bold actions at EPA.” Under Pruitt’s tenure, the EPA nixed the Clean Power Plan, and eased greenhouse gas emission and mileage standards for future vehicles built, in addition to the U.S. leaving the Paris climate agreements.
On Friday, the president tweeted that his EPA director was “doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege”
Do you believe that the Fake News Media is pushing hard on a story that I am going to replace A.G. Jeff Sessions with EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, who is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege? Do people really believe this stuff? So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2018
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal editorial board issued a strong endorsement of Pruitt as well, calling him Trump’s most “consequential cabinet official.”
“Mr. Pruitt’s real sin is that he is one of Mr. Trump’s most aggressive reformers, taking on green idols that others would bow before,” the board wrote in an article urging Trump to keep Pruitt. “If there has been a more consequential cabinet official, we haven’t seen him.”