Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ready To Say Bye-Bye To Scott Pruitt? It's Not The Bad Policies Doing Him In... It's The Graft And Corruption


The White House has been sending signals to Senate allies to not go out on any limbs defending EPA Director Scott Pruitt. On Monday, Bloomberg was already reporting that the Pruitt defenses were starting to crumble. "White House officials are cautioning Republican lawmakers and other conservative allies to temper their defense of Scott Pruitt, according to two people familiar with the discussions, in a sign that administration support for the embattled EPA chief may be waning." There were already some Republicans that didn't need the warnings. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) had already called on Pruitt to resign.

The San Francisco Chronicle published a blistering editorial on Monday demanding Trump replace him.
Scott Pruitt’s only tenuous claim to environmental protection concerns a sort of wetland preservation-- namely, his immense contributions to the ethical swamp President Trump promised to drain.

And yet the notoriously antienvironment Environmental Protection Agency chief remains employed by a president renowned for firing people on and off television (and Twitter). Pruitt’s remarkable longevity amid accumulating scandal sends a clear signal that the Trump administration-- which is, after all, often run from Florida-- is as swampy as they come.

Thanks to Pruitt’s penchant for expensive, extraneous and ethically dubious personal luxuries, official trappings and security measures, his drive to undo decades of hard-won environmental progress threatens to become bogged down in, according to the New York Times’ count, 10 different investigations. Recent reports by the Times and others suggest these habits date to Pruitt’s time as a state legislator and attorney general in Oklahoma, where he also maintained mutually beneficial relationships with industry and lobbyists.

...When he’s not being accommodated by the industries he largely fails to regulate, Pruitt can be found traveling about the country and even the world at inflated expense to taxpayers. Part of the extraordinary cost can be attributed to first-class airfare and accommodations for his sizable retinue, present even on personal trips to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl. The administrator, who has been roundly criticized by predecessors from both parties, apparently believes his courageous defiance of climate science necessitates an unprecedented 24-hour security detail that has cost taxpayers nearly $3 million.

Perhaps the most enduring and absurd symbol of the Pruitt era is the $43,000 custom soundproof phone booth installed in his office in violation of spending laws to allow the administrator to “make and receive calls to discuss sensitive information.” It would be the ideal place for him to take a call from the White House regarding the sensitive matter of his departure.
Even Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, a staunch and longtime Pruitt ally seems to be finished defending him and now supports hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee looking into the former Oklahoma attorney general's actions. Rubber stamp Trump senators Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and John Boozman (AR) are also calling for hearings, a sure sign the White House is ready to throw in the towel on Pruitt.

And West Virginia is no longer the #1 coal state. Wyoming is. The committee chairman is far right Wyoming senator John Barrasso who told reporters he expects Pruitt to come over to Capitol Hill and answer questions from the committee. Barrasso has never uttered an independent word in his entire life.
The House Oversight Committee has requested interviews with five senior agency aides and the White House said it would formally investigate Pruitt’s expenses after the Government Accountability Office last week found EPA broke the law by failing to notify Congress about a $43,000 privacy booth Pruitt had built in his office.

Pruitt will go to the Hill on Thursday to testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee in the morning and at a House Appropriations subpanel in the afternoon. Those appearances will mark his first time before Congress since the recent allegations broke.

Both Inhofe and Capito said they thought those House hearings would prove pivotal for Pruitt’s long-term future in the administration.

“It’s really important,” Capito said. “He’s going to have to answer some tough questions. I’m sure they’ll be put to him by both sides and we’ll see what his response is.”

Meanwhile, EPW ranking member Tom Carper (D-DE) said he had a good conversation with House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) regarding Pruitt, but he said there was no formal bipartisan agreement to work together on an investigation.

“I just gave him plenty of encouragement that he’s doing the right thing,” he said.

But the mounting public criticism from Republicans suggests GOP lawmakers' patience in defending the EPA chief's behavior is waning.

"Some of the things that he’s done and that he’s been alleged to do are just indefensible," Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said. "You just can’t put lipstick on those pigs. You can’t."
Goal ThermometerBasically all of the Blue America-endorsed candidates have environmental and climate change planks in their platforms. We don't endorse candidates don't. Sam Jammal, who is running in CA-39 (northeast Orange County) has had some experience, both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill working in these areas. He pointed out that "The EPA is always a challenge under Republican Administrations. But Pruitt is a special breed. Aside from the corruption, he has spent his entire term undermining any action on climate and taking every opportunity to roll back protections on our environment. The Trump Administration is going after every environmental protection most people thought the debate was settled on-- drilling on our beaches, undermining climate science and polluting our water. It sometimes seems like they are undermining our environment with new attacks on a weekly basis, especially for California. While removing Pruitt won't put a stop on everything, it will slow things down and empower career employees to do the right thing for our environment. It also opens the door for a congressional debate on what the EPA is doing with the next nominee since Pruitt and his allies are largely undermining our environmental protections in the dark."

Levi Tillemann is running in a suburban Denver district (CO-06) and he has similarly hard feeling towards Pruitt's and the Trump Regime's anti-environmental aggressiveness. "Pruitt," he told us, "seems to believe that gutting environmental protections will make our economy stronger. (His assault on common sense policies to protect clean air, clean water and reduce carbon pollution has been unrelenting.) The problem is, he's wrong and particularly in the automotive space. The rest of the world is on track for aggressive electrification and increases in fuel economy. If U.S. regulations don't keep pace, our industry will lag behind in a globalized industry worth trillions of dollars. Eliminating the incentives for increased fuel economy is going to make our economy weaker, not stronger."

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At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double standard? nobody is demanding Pelosi and scummer resign for their graft, corruption and shitty policies. You just ask us to support them by padding their caucuses.

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pruitt will just remain where he is, destroying the ability of this planet to host human life.

At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, 11:42, Pruitt will simply accelerate the inevitable. If we don't first poison our air, water or lands; if we don't first denude our forests and oceans, our current CO2 levels plus the inevitable increases will do the job for us within a century.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

""All indications are that the refinery site is safe and stable and the air quality is clean and normal," Superior WI Mayor Jim Paine"

"Public safety has been our number one concern all along," said Collin Schade, refinery manager for Husky Energy.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson says, in Duluth, anyone west of the ore docks should stay inside and close the windows as a precaution. It's something she calls sheltering in place. "Contain any HVAC, or any interaction with the air outside as much as possible, simply as a precaution," said Larson.


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