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EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: The Weaponization of the EPA is Over

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt: The Weaponization of the EPA is Over

Meanwhile, Pruitt fends off seething eco-activists and their spiteful lawsuits.

President Donald Trump’s administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda according to the conservative Heritage Foundation, which is a pace faster than former President Ronald Reagan.

One of Trump’s biggest promises was to roll back regulations, especially those promulgated under the behemoth of the Environmental Protection Agency. New reports indicate that the agency’s enormous power, magnified under Obama, is steadily receding.

For example, three agency offices are consolidating.

Under the proposed consolidation, the grants, contracts and administrative functions of the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) — a component of EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) — would be combined with two other offices focused on administering grants.

A new Office of Resource Management would then be responsible for some NCER functions, as well as the work of the offices of Administration and Research Support and of Program Accountability and Resource Management. Freedom of Information Act requests, records management and budget formulation functions from other organizations would also be moved into the planned resource management shop.

Liz Bowman, EPA’s associate administrator for public affairs, described the prospective shake-up as an efficiency move.

The change would shift “staff to the labs and offices where their expertise is most effective,” she said in a statement. “This potential reorganization would not affect anyone’s employment or status, and the management of research grants will continue.”

That the move is likely a good one for the nation and its taxpayers is demonstrated by the howls from green activists. As they often do, they used the children to defend the existence of programs.

“Those programs have been so successful in advancing our scientific understanding and our ability to address the ways that environmental chemicals can impact children’s health,” said Tracey Woodruff, a former senior scientist and policy adviser at the EPA under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

“The children centers were really the first and only centers to uncover the relationship with prenatal exposure to flame retardants and IQ deficiencies in children.”

The EPA’s Chief Administrator Scott Pruitt has been particularly effective in reigning in the agency. As a result, he is the target of a lawsuit by 2 eco-activist groups. Specifically, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility claim Pruitt is violating federal records laws.

…In their complaint, the groups cite news reports that Pruitt prefers to hold face-to-face meetings and avoids email to prevent his comments from being documented. They note that employees told The New York Times that Pruitt prohibits staff from bringing cellphones to meetings and discourages them from taking notes.

Pruitt said during a Senate oversight hearing last month that reports about the ban on note-taking at the EPA are inaccurate.

“I am very encouraging of the folks taking notes during meetings. Because I forget things often and we want to make sure we are keeping track of where we are heading on issues,” he told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The groups also point to the installation of a soundproof communications booth in Pruitt’s office, which reportedly cost more than $25,000 and is the subject of an investigation by the EPA’s inspector general.

It is amazing that Pruitt has been able to accomplish as much as he has, being the subject of continuous out-of control green activism and spiteful legal action.

Pruitt spoke to The Daily Signal before he gave an address to CPAC this year. Reviewing his time in the EPA, Pruitt offered his plan for the next phase of his work:

Focusing on rule of law, restoring process and order, making sure that we engage in cooperative federalism as we engage in regulation.

But the key to me is that weaponization of the agency that took place in the Obama administration, where the agency was used to pick winners and losers. Those days are over.

Here is a video of Pruitt’s CPAC address:

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Comments

This is all well and good, but the EPA is still staffed with thousands of progressive activists who will be sabotaging Pruit at every turn.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to snopercod. | February 28, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Grounds for immediate firing, and perhaps lawsuits if the evil Obama flunkies did damage.

    Even though the EPA person is quoted saying that the move will not impact employment levels, it still makes it easier to eventually reduce duplication or at least avoid hiring as people leave though attrition. And, hopefully, it will make it harder for the next democrat administration to expand the bureaucracy.

    Sometimes changing the organization chart prompts people to change. Look how many people actually left because of the change from Obama to Trump.

    The Administration is also working towards making it easier to fire people, so they may be waiting for that option.

I don’t want to see it reined in, consolidating, or reduced. I want to see ithe whole damnable unconstitutional abomination burned to the ground. The fields salted. The offspring killed. EPA delenda est.

    Tom Servo in reply to bobtuba. | February 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Only Congress can do that, and they’re gutless. So Trump is doing the next best thing by putting a man like Pruitt in charge of it.

    I loved how the leftists were complaining that Pruitt flew first class or military and had a security detail with him every time he traveled – the quick and obvious answer was “well it’s because you leftists make about 10 death threats against him or his family every day.”

      “Only Congress can do that, and they’re gutless…”

      Not the democrats. They’re fearless, because the media is corrupt and shills for them.

      The conservatives are not gutless (witness Congressmen Nunes, Gohmert, etc. They’re fearless, too.

      The GOPe is gutless, because they are not leaders of anything, but mere corrupt lobbyists.

      Destroy the GOPe, and you’ll see a Congress with guts.

      snopercod in reply to Tom Servo. | February 28, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Now wait just a darn minute there. The EPA wasn’t created by Congress, it was created by a Richard Nixon Presidential Directive. In theory, Trump could dissolve the EPA the same way. That’s not going to happen, of course.

    PrincetonAl in reply to bobtuba. | February 28, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    “EPA delenda est”

    Cato the Elder, very nice. Recalling all my Latin education.

    Puts to rest the lie that we deplorable rubes are uneducated.

    When this 8 years is over, they will have to write a big book. And the first line will be “Arma virumque cano”

    (which I will very loosely translate here as “I sing of a man and his battles”)

How does an eco-activist group get standing to litigate a record keeping claim against the EPA? I guess the jurisdictional in Hollingsworth v. Perry used to legalize gay marriage were a subterfuge.

    Milwaukee in reply to dystopia. | February 28, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    My suspicion is there must be something in enabling legislation somewhere which gives established environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, standing to sue. That needs to be changed.

      Bisley in reply to Milwaukee. | March 1, 2018 at 10:39 am

      There is such law, but I don’t remember where to find it. It grants environmental and other organizations standing to bring suits in the name of the public, and on grounds of some possible potential harm, rather than having to show actual harm. It also enables them to recoup legal expenses from government, which are usually greatly inflated, and a major source of funding for many of these organizations.

legalizehazing | February 28, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Slash it! Slash it! Slash it!

At this point, it’s apparent that Sessions hitched his wagon to Trump for the purposes of keeping him reined in – so no accident Sessions got himself placed in the AG position.

Now, when is Trump going to fire Sessions and ‘weaponize’ the Justice Department, so it does the work of the American people?

How hillary klinton, john kerry, obama, mueller etc are walking around laughing in our faces after the crimes committed by them or in their names makes the presence of Sessions – and his obstruction – an obscenity.

Dump Sessions. Hire Guiliani.

Poor little prog eco groups. They’re so used to suing the EPA and getting their way, plus a jackpot as a bonus. Now that the EPA actually stands up instead of taking a dive and writing them a fat check, it makes their life soooo hard.

Boo hoo.

    Poor little prog eco groups. They’re so used to suing the EPA
    —————–
    That should read colluding instead of suing.

      Milwaukee in reply to 4fun. | February 28, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Assasin: It’s worse than you think.
      Captain Reynolds: It usually is.

      “Poor little prog eco groups. They’re so used to suing the EPA”

      The game has been this: The EPA will want to do something, and current law and common sense bar the way. They give a “grant” to an environmental group which has standing. The environmental group sues. The EPA rolls over in court, and the judge rules for the environmental group. Presto! The EPA gets what they want. Sometimes there is a little bonus. Some evil corporation is required to pay millions in fines, which goes to a slush fund. Some of the money goes to the group to pay their expenses. The rest of it goes the way of all slush funds.

      Why not divert that money into building The Wall?

…until the next D POTUS appoints an activist as head of the EPA to weaponize it again.

There’s nothing Pruitt can do that the next administrator can’t undo.

Maybe if he manages to abolish it in its entirety, but even then the law creating and funding it is still on the books.

Congress needs to act…

My neighbor has a pond that was built on the property in 1968 by a previous owner.
When he had a problem with the pond and all the water leaked out, he found out that the EPA had no record of his pond, even though it had been sitting right there for nearly 50 years.
Nevermind, an inspector from the EPA did come out to inspect his non-existent pond and gave it good marks.
It just finished refilling last week.

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