Reed: EPA nominee shows Trump seeks to undercut agency

09 February, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • Environmental Protection Agency EPA Matt Gaetz Florida representative representatives Congress government government agency federal government bill HR 861 environment health environmental protection Trump Donald Trump water monitoring

"This track record likely reflects his disturbing decision to close the environmental enforcement unit in his office while establishing a new litigation team to challenge EPA and other federal agencies", the former EPA employees wrote in the letter, which was sent by the Environmental Integrity Project to all U.S. Senators.

Backed by Republicans and dozens of conservative advocacy groups, Pruitt is seen by his supporters as demonstrating "his commitment to upholding the Constitution" and a belief that he will ensure the EPA "works for American families and consumers". Don Parrish, AFBF's senior director of congressional and regulatory relations told the Washington Post that he believes Pruitt's strengths lie in his past work in state agency.

Almost 450 former Environmental Protection Agency employees Monday urged Congress to reject President Trump's nominee to run the agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, even as current employees in Chicago sent the same message during a noon rally.

The Environmental Protection Agency has told Oklahoma regulators to do more to protect the state from a surge in natural disaster activity that scientists have linked to the underground disposal of oil and gas wastewater.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, from Pensacola, Florida, is proposing to "terminate" the Environmental Protection Agency and according to his resolution, the EPA's responsibility of oversight and regulation would fall upon the states.

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Still Oklahoma's attorney general until confirmed, Pruitt is nominated as EPA administrator but his appointment has been met with staunch opposition - partly due to questions surrounding his stance on global warming. But in the Trump administration, the threat must be taken seriously. "And the states have an equally important role in protecting the environment and their own states". Resolutions axing regulations on coal pollution in streams and the disclosure of payments to foreign government by fossil fuel firms passed in both the House and Senate last week and are expected to be signed by President Trump in the coming days. The signatories expressed concern about Pruitt's track record and his stance on climate change.

Even though the EPA was created under Richard Nixon, the agency's employees have clashed in the past with Republican leaders, particularly under the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Pruitt now serves as the Attorney General of Oklahoma. Republicans quickly changed the rules to quash the boycott, and voted unanimously to endorse Pruitt.

About 300 people, including scores of EPA employees, rallied Monday across the street from the agency's regional headquarters in downtown Chicago to oppose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's nomination.

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