Until Hurricanes Irma and Harvey struck, bringing with them catastrophic flooding and the toxic contamination of communities and waterways hit by the storms, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration, Scott Pruitt, had been busy making a case for diminishing the regulatory power, as well as the actual size, of his own agency, reports Rebecca Leber.
Unfortunately, despite the death and destruction, the former industry lobbyist, has seen no reason to shift his focus from what Pruitt refers to as “regulatory certainty” for polluting industries, notes Leber.
Last week, Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor and EPA chief under George W. Bush, gave a scathing review of Pruitt’s job performance in the New York Times.
“The agency created by a Republican president 47 years ago to protect the environment and public health may end up doing neither under Mr. Pruitt’s direction,” Whitman wrote, noting that Pruitt’s actions during Hurricane Harvey, in particular, were “only the latest manifestations of my fears.”
Pruitt, in fact, did far more damage during and after the storms, appearing in far-right media to regularly disparage mainstream media reports of drinking water contamination and discussions about climate change — all while rolling back more pollution regulations.