In just a few short weeks, Breitbart—Steve Bannon’s self-described “platform for the alt-right”—has gone from praising Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, to suggesting that he isn’t up to the task and should hand “over the reins to someone who is,” reports Rebecca Leber.
“The far right’s opinion of Pruitt has plummeted since the time Breitbart News praised him for doing ‘the Lord’s work’ in early March,” says Leber.
The former attorney general of Oklahoma, of course, has challenged environmental rules in his home state on 14 separate occasions. Nevertheless, Leber points out, Pruitt faced an unexpected wave of criticism from far-right climate change deniers who feel he hasn’t gone far or fast enough to defend their position against the science that refutes their indefensible position on climate change.
“The endangerment finding is a science-based determination, prompted by a Supreme Court decision in 2007, that is the foundational basis for the agency’s regulatory work on climate change,” notes Leber.
Analyst H. Sterling Burnett of the Heartland Institute—which has received funding from Exxon and the Koch brothers and would like to end the EPA altogether—admits that gutting the climate endangerment finding tops climate change deniers’ wish list for the Trump administration. Climate advocates and former EPA officials, however, remain confident it will survive.