EPA Admin. Scott Pruitt Continues to Act Like an Industry Lobbyist

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As you may recall, 50 farmworkers in Bakersfield, California were exposed to and sickened by a chemical pesticide that was on track to be banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama Administration.

According to the Associated Press, Trump's EPA director Scott Pruitt, who reversed the Obama administration decision and approved the use of the chemical, privately met with the CEO of the company that manufactures the chemical shortly before he approved it.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half hour at a Houston hotel. Both men were featured speakers at an energy industry conference.

Twenty days later Pruitt announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food, despite a review by his agency’s scientists that concluded ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.

Obviously, we don't know exactly what the two of them discussed in private, but we do know that Scott Pruitt believes his job is to enable chemical and fossil fuel companies. That's how he conducted himself as the attorney general of Oklahoma where he repeatedly filed lawsuits against the Obama administration on behalf of various industries, and it's how he's behaving today.

Meanwhile, Pruitt is also leading an initiative to critique settled climate science by co-opting the peer-review process that produced it. And there's a bonus connection to notorious piece of shit Bob Murray.

The program will use "red team, blue team" exercises to conduct an "at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science," the official said, referring to a concept developed by the military to identify vulnerabilities in field operations. [...]

Executives in the coal industry interpret the move as a step toward challenging the endangerment finding, the agency's legal foundation for regulating greenhouse gases from cars, power plants and other sources. Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., said Pruitt assured him yesterday that he plans to begin reviewing the endangerment finding within months.

"We talked about that, and they're going to start addressing it later this year," Murray said in an interview.

Senator Al Franken confronted Rick Perry on this exact topic last week.

And since we're back on the topic of Bob Murray again, here's John Oliver on the coal industry and Bob Murray from last week.

I literally cannot watch Bob Murray without cursing at my screen. Crude gestures may also be involved.

  • fry1laurie

    He forgot his oath of office, to uphold the Constitution rather than the Chamber of Commerce.

  • muselet

    TPM commenter irasdad:

    Gee, if only we had an objective, peer-reviewed, transparent discussion about global warming.

    Maybe from The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, The American Astronomical Society, The American Chemical Society, The American College of Preventive Medicine, The American Geophysical Union, The American Institute of Physics, The American Institute of Biological Sciences, The American Medical Association, The American Meteorological Society, The American Physical Society, The American Public Health Association, The American Quaternary Association, The American Society of Agronomy, The American Society for Microbiology, The American Statistical Association, The Crop Science Society of America, The Geological Society of America, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The International Arctic Science Committee, The International Association for Great Lakes Research, The International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, The International Union for Quaternary Research, The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, The International Wildlife Society, The Society of American Foresters, The Soil Science Society of America, The Union of Concerned Scientists, The US National Academy of Sciences, The US National Research Council, The World Federation of Engineering Organizations, The World Federation of Public Health Associations, The World Health Organization, The World Meteorological Organization, 34 national science academies, and 98% of all scientists surveyed.

    Something like that.

    Of course, that’s all pooh-poohed by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, The Koch Brothers, and Scott Pruitt’s Sunday School teacher.

    So it’s a tough call.

    I can see why people might be torn.


  • Tony Lavely

    “I literally cannot watch Bob Murray without cursing at my screen. Crude gestures may also be involved.”
    That’s absolutely my reaction every time the orange rump shows up on my TV. I feel sorry for you, watching all this crap so we don’t have to.
    A silly question: Can Trump just ‘govern’ the ones who voted for him and leave the rest of us alone?
    I know, I know, stupid dreams.

  • Aynwrong

    The GOP is on a mission to transform America into a toxic wasteland with the exception of a few wealthy zip codes. It’s like they saw the film Elysium and decided it would make a good business model.