What Did Scott Pruitt Leave Behind at the EPA

What Did Scott Pruitt Leave Behind at the EPA

Margaret Sedam  7/25/2018

Yes, Scott Pruitt is no longer at the EPA; however, his legacy remains and it is toxic to the soil, air and water.  Now that he is gone his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, will pick up where Pruitt left off and continue the decimation of the regulations that were put into place to protect the Earth.   Wheeler was a lobbyist for the coal industry and he, like Pruitt, sees more rollbacks in his future at the EPA as acting director.

To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

Among these are regulations that protect us against pollutants that can greatly affect the health of both adults and children.  We should not forget that those pollutants will also affect the food we eat.  Here is just a taste.

The administration revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams.

Withdrew a proposed rule reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.

Delayed by two years an E.P.A. rule regulating limits on toxic discharge, which can include mercury, from power plants into public waterways.

Proposed new rule rolling back groundwater protections for certain uranium mines.

There are also many regulations that are in the process of being overturned or rewritten for industry.  I point out that regulations protecting the environment were put into place as industries’ raison d etre or reason to be is based on the color green, not the green the earth produces but the green that drives industry… money.  There are regulations yet waiting to be diminished.

Opened up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In April 2018, the Interior Department announced it was taking steps to prepare for a lease sale in the refuge.

Ordered review of regulations on oil and gas drilling in national parks where mineral rights are privately owned.

Proposed changes to regulations for oil well control and blowout prevention systems implemented after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Recommended shrinking or opening to commercial fishing three marine protected areas. Executive Order

Proposed the use of seismic air guns for gas and oil exploration in the Atlantic. The practice, which can kill marine life and disrupt fisheries, was blocked under the Obama administration.

Reviewing a rule, developed after the 2013 Kulluk accident regulating offshore oil and gas exploration by floating vessels in the Arctic.

We were given this planet to protect and to be good stewards.  Is ruining the Earth in pursuit of profits good stewardship?  I think not.  It is also important to remember that regulations would not be necessary if we could count on corporations to do the right thing…they don’t and won’t.

We need air, water, and earth beneath our feet in order to continue to live.