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Trump’s nominee for EPA chief clears Senate Committee log-jam

Trump’s nominee for EPA chief clears Senate Committee log-jam

EPA may be forced to adapt to an environment that is friendlier to sound science.

The political sailing has not been smooth for many of President Trump’s nominees, and the process of approving Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency is no exception.

After being a target of one of the many Democratic Senate committee boycotts, Pruit cleared the log-jam:

Senate Republicans pressed forward on Thursday with the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, suspending the Environment and Public Works Committee’s rules to approve the cabinet pick despite a Democratic boycott.

The 11-0 vote sends the nomination to the full Senate, where Mr. Pruitt will most likely be approved next week.

…Senators on Thursday teed up what could be a week of rapid-fire confirmations, taking procedural votes to move forward with the nominations of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general, Representative Tom Price of Georgia to be secretary of health and human services, and Steven T. Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary.

Meahwhile, Myron Ebell (the head of Trump’s EPA transition team) has already set quite a lofty goal for Pruitt: reducing the agency staff by 50 percent.

Myron Ebell said in an interview with The Associated Press that Trump is likely to seek significant reductions to the agency’s workforce — currently about 15,000 employees nationwide. Ebell, who left the transition team last week, declined to discuss specific numbers of EPA staff that could be targeted for pink slips.

…“Let’s aim for half and see how it works out, and then maybe we’ll want to go further,” said Ebell, who has returned to his position as director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Additionally, there are indications internal changes to the agency are occurring. A group of eco-activists are monitoring the agency website for “climate change” policy, and have already noted some significant changes.

A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that’s been closely watched since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.

A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed and adaptation has been emphasized, indicating an attempt to separate the cause of climate change from the response. Some of the changes — like removing mentions to programs and task forces that have run their course as well as broken links — are housekeeping, according to an agency statement.

…Climate change is being disassociated from carbon pollution. In the process of removing a mention of Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the partnerships page also no longer mentions carbon pollution as a cause of climate change. Removing the commitment to the United Nations process also came with removing a statement linking greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.

Coupled with new language framing climate change as an adaptation issue, the early changes show that the EPA could continue its climate work but with less of a focus on reining in the underlying cause of climate change.

Curious, I checked the “adaptation” menu. A snippet is below, with some of the more intriguing phrases highlighted.

“Adaptation” refers to the adjustments that societies or ecosystems make to limit the negative effects of climate change or to take advantage of opportunities provided by a changing climate. Adaptation can range from a farmer planting more drought-resistant crops to a coastal community evaluating how best to protect its infrastructure from rising sea level.

Climate change is already impacting societies and ecosystems around the world, and many impacts are expected to increase as global temperatures continue to rise. While reducing greenhouse gas emissions is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, a certain amount of global warming is inevitable, due to the long-lasting nature of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, and to heat already stored in the oceans. Adapting to the changes that are already underway, and preparing for future climate change, can help reduce the risks societies will face from climate change.

It appears that EPA is trying to adapt to an environment that is friendlier to good business and sound science.


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Keep ’em coming. Bulldozers own no speed records.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm

50% reduction in staff is a good start.

    I’m willing to bet the 50% number is a Trump suggestion in order to set a negotiation point. Agencies *grow* from year to year, and to say something wishy-washy like 5% or 7% will just bounce off hardened minds.

    Note the approach: “Carbon is not a pollutant, we do not have statutory authority to regulate it as such, and we will be drastically reducing staff.” Anybody hired in the last eight years who has as their responsibilities a long line of ‘carbon’ in their job description will be scrambling, and anybody who does *not*, will be taking great care to show just how efficient and effective they are. The potential for a lot of self-draining swamp in the agency is looking up.

Carbon pollution!!! Carbon in a naturally occurring element. SOOT is the black particulate matter coming from incomplete combustion and includes elemental carbon. Carbon Dioxide is a naturally occurring clear, odorless, beneficial TRACE gas necessary for plant photosynthesis. In no way shape or form can this vitally necessary gas that makes up approximately 0.04% of our atmosphere be considered a pollutant.

We should be so lucky has to have the current warm conditions continue – unfortunately it looks like we might be on the downward side of the 60year heat/warm cycle what with the quiet sun and all.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to rabidfox. | February 4, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Haven’t some predicted a mini-ice age?

    Remember in the 70’s the same “environmentalists” were screeching and screeching about a “climate change,” year-round winter, or some such…….

      Back in the ’70s when we were still getting green stamps at the gas pumps, we believed Jimmy Carter and thought Solar Power was the answer. Well, I still do not have my flying car as my Science Digest Magazines told me I would and I do not think I ever will. Recycling for the most part is bogus but I am still curious if we wrap it in plastic and knock it over into the East River, would the UN building float and be able to be used as an offshore deportation dock?

        The reason you don’t have that flying car is not because the technology doesn’t exist but because the traffic control problem has not yet been solved so the government (quite properly in this case) doesn’t allow it. When they figure out how to let everyone who wants a flying car have one without creating chaos and killing thousands of people, and without creating a new terrorist threat, they will start licensing them.

    clintack in reply to rabidfox. | February 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm


    Every animal on Earth — every fuzzy bunny and Bambi fawn — exhales CO2 with every breath.

    Every plant on Earth — every redwood forest and organic locally-grown kale plant — needs atmospheric CO2 to survive.


    Maybe next they’ll get on the devastation caused by DHMO (Dihydrogen Monoxide) — one of the deadliest chemicals on Earth.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to clintack. | February 4, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      or H2O….that kills a lot of people too…that dangerous H2O.

      Milhouse in reply to clintack. | February 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      There’s a chemical that poses deadly danger to us all
      If we don’t eliminate it, we are headed for a fall
      But our governments refuse to see the writing on the wall
      They’re going to let us die!

      CHORUS (after every verse):
      Ban dihydrogen monoxide!
      Ban dihydrogen monoxide!
      Ban dihydrogen monoxide
      before it kills us all!

      Dihydrogen monoxide is a chemical to fear
      Uncounted thousands die of inhalation every year
      Yet the FDA allows it in our burgers, beans, and beer
      And never questions why!

      In gaseous form it’s subtle, without color, taste, or smell
      But it’s part of acid rain, and it’s a greenhouse gas as well
      It’s also found in car exhaust, which makes our cities Hell
      And dirties up the sky!

      It’s widely used by industry, and agriculture too
      They dump it on the ground or in the river when they’re through
      And from the ecosystem it gets into me and you
      Which they dare not deny!

      You’ll find dihydrogen monoxide everywhere you go
      In oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams, in air and soil and snow
      Its quantitative formula is simply H-2-O
      You’ll get it if you try!

      ……[This verse contributed by Gary McGath]
      How far DHMO has spread no one can safely tell.
      They’ve found it on Europa, and it’s on our Moon as well.
      It may well turn our Solar System to a living hell!
      It’s filling up the sky!

      By Mark Mandel

      deuxlakes in reply to clintack. | February 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      6CO2 + 6H2O ——> C6H12O6 + 6O2
      Sunlight energy

Start drug testing all EPA employees… watch a self-draining swamp.

casualobserver | February 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I wonder if advocates like the Sierra Club have sufficient funds to take back the people who left to join the EPA and other agencies. According to a rep on Tucker Carlson’s show Friday they are flush with donations. The implication was that a combination of Trump’s election and advocating for progressive policies like abortion and LGBT issues has made them more popular than ever. Let the bureaucrats go back to a place where they can do no harm and can be tuned out of we wish.

“EPA may be forced to adapt to an environment that is friendlier to sound science….”

“May?” “MAY?” – Who’s running things, the Crying Boehners?

I watched Myrons press briefing and ended up loving the guy from about the 10th second!! ????????????

His calm ton dominated a press room full of unfriendly hacks. It really was beauty in notion how effortlessly he handled activists like The BBC and c4 ????????

You could see why Myton was public enemy number 1 with liberals!!


Paul In Sweden | February 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm

The science argument is over. The problem is the establishment, media and the indoctrinated/willfully blind. I call it the Alice’s Restaurant dilemma, ‘I mean, I mean’ the science is in, but when you take twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures, and the judge walks in sets down with a seeing eye dog, the Lime-Light Climate Scientists are in their glory.

However, it is different now, way different, even if you have not been following this Global Warming thing for a couple of decades. Climate scientists are up at arms because when data, the same exact data and same line chart are clearly labeled they can be understood it is clear to all that it was much warmer in the past 3000 years and the earth is not on fire. It is amazing how they lie to keep this man-made global warming hoax going. There is no crisis, see for yourself.

Check Out the Friday Funnies – 03/02/17 – from WUWT(Watts Up With That – The most dominant Climate Web Site) have a laugh the graphs tell the story and anyone can understand. The Warmist Scientists are turning themselves into pretzels. Schadenfreude anyone?

The first is of paleotemperature reconstruction of Sargasso Sea surface temperature. And the second one he claims is a doctored version that is a misrepresentation of Sargasso Sea temperatures by global warming doubters.

But actually the two graphs are exactly the same. The second is just a mirrored version, the time axis is turned the other way around. He says that the second one falsley claims that the global temperatures were higher 3000 years ago (something other sources say the were). So who has missed the point here, I or Mr Boslough?