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EPA Tag

Legal Insurrection readers will recall that the Environmental Protection Agency under Obama enacted one of the most flagrant regulatory power grabs in American history with the Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS). WOTUS redefine how "waters of the United States" are subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act. Attempted enforcement of these rules led to farmers being fined astronomical amounts after installing stock pods that had no potential impact on navigable waters, nor posed any other significant environmental threat to the community.

Life at the current Environmental Protection Agency now resembles an episode of "The Apprentice", the iconic reality show once hosted by President Donald Trump. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt once battled the agency he now leads and argued its scientists often failed to properly assess the fiscal impact relative to actual risk related to implementing new regulations on businesses. As a result of his leadership, half of the Science Advisory Board has been dismissed.
Deborah L. Swackhamer, chairwoman of the Board of Scientific Counselors, confirmed Monday that nine of the 18 outside experts on her panel will not serve a second three-year term. The affected board members' terms expired April 30.

Shortly after being elected President, Donald Trump expressed that he wanted to find ways to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and put a stop-payment on a $500 million check Obama wrote for the UN Climate fund days before Trump's inauguration. However, close to Trump's 100-day presidential milestone, it is now being reported that a showdown between Trump's advisors and cabinet members is set to occur next week over this inane international agreement.

The Trump administration is exploring the possibility of punching a hole in former President Obama’s 2015 ozone pollution rule.
Justice Department attorneys are asking the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delay oral arguments scheduled for later this month in a lawsuit challenging the Obama rule, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews the regulation and its position on it. “EPA intends to closely review the 2015 rule, and the prior positions taken by the agency with respect to the 2015 rule may not necessarily reflect its ultimate conclusions after that review is complete,” the attorneys wrote. Under the Obama administration, attorneys were defending the pollution rule against a coalition of business groups and conservative states, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

I had to check the date of this Washington Times article by Ben Wolfgang, just to make sure it wasn't already April 1.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday sent out a press release touting praise for President Trump’s rollback of Obama-era climate-change regulations this week — but the agency accidentally led the email with a blistering quote from a Democratic critic. The press release includes a quote from Sen. Tom Carper, Delaware Democrat and ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wrongly attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican.

People on the left frequently mock conservatives for being people of faith and believing in God. Yet if you listen to leading voices from the Progressive community, you would think we're living in the end times. Trump recently rolled back some of Obama's policies on climate change and has also taken action to roll back regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. In response, Van Jones wrote this for CNN:
Van Jones: Trump may have signed Earth's death warrant As usual, Donald Trump is completely upside down on the facts. In 2015, President Barack Obama created the Clean Power Plan to slow climate disruption. It was the first action ever taken by the US government to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

The last time we checked in on the Environmental Protection Agency, a long-time staffer and social justice warrior had just tendered his resignation after recognizing the political climate had dramatically changed. Things are about to get a little hotter for this merry band of bureaucrats, as they are being sued by Judicial Watch.
The watchdog group is seeking copies of the EPA's proposals and awards for environmental justice grants delivered in 2014 and 2015, and said it hasn't been provided with any documents yet.

Hot stock tip: invest in companies producing anti-smog surgical masks. That is, if you buy into Chris Cuomo's environmental alarmism. On CNN this morning, the panel discussed the Trump admin's announcement yesterday that it plans to roll back some of the Obama-era EPA regs viewed as overly restrictive on the coal industry. Cuomo claimed that the Obama regs are "seen as key to keeping the United States from looking like Shanghai in terms of blowing all kinds of black smoke into the air."

President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to shelve aggressive vehicle fuel economy targets that have been a foundation for promoting climate change alarmism policies that have hurt the American automotive industry.
Trump revealed his plans during a speech at an automotive testing center near Detroit after discussing the issue during a round-table meeting at the American Center for Mobility with auto company executives and workers. "This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," Trump said at the meeting.

President Donald Trump released his plan for the 2018 federal budget titled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again." The plan includes cuts to some departments and slashes programs in order to reallocate funds to a bigger defense budget. "One of the most important ways the Federal Government sets priorities is through the Budget of the United States," wrote Trump. "Accordingly, I submit to the Congress this Budget Blueprint to reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people."

The Environmental Protection Agency's new chief is now on-the-record as declaring that the life-sustaining gas, carbon dioxide, is not responsible for "global warming".
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Savvy Legal Insurrection readers may have already noticed the historic stock market levels that ensued after President Trump's address to the Congress. However, I think that only part of this optimism stem's from Trump's well received speech. I suspect another aspect to this optimism is that businesses are beginning to enjoy the regulatory relief from new rules that is the direct result of the President's very busy pen.

During the Obama era, many taxpayers had to trim back discretionary expenses for luxury items, like gym memberships. However, some of our government bureaucrats enjoyed those perks...using our tax dollars. A detailed audit of expenditures for 2016 revealed that the EPA's money management was polluted by improper purchases.
Environmental Protection Agency employees used their government purchase cards to spend $14,985 on fitness memberships, according to an audit by the inspector general of the agency. With the goal of assessing the risk of illegal, improper, and erroneous purchases made on the EPA's purchase card, the auditors evaluated 18 transactions totaling $48,345 and found that none of them complied with any of the internal controls that were tested.

In May of 2015, the Obama administration engaged in one of its more shocking and unacceptable power grabs with the EPA's Waters of the United States rule.  President Trump, thus far clearly intent on keeping his campaign promises, is going to reverse this onerous overreach of the federal government as early as Wednesday. Writing at the time of the rule's announcement, I noted that the scope of the rule was such that it included, quite literally, puddles in one's driveway or yard.

The political climate of the EPA can be expected to change more rapidly, now that its new head has started his first day at the agency.
Scott Pruitt told EPA employees Tuesday that he’s committed to protecting the environment and upholding the agency’s core mission, but he also signaled that major changes are ahead as he begins to dismantle much of former President Obama’s climate change agenda. In his first address to the agency workforce, Mr. Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who was confirmed as EPA administrator last Friday, said he intends to keep an open mind and draw from the experience of those inside the department....

The Senate has confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA with 52 yes votes and 46 no votes. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote no. Pruitt received two Democrat yes votes: Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota and Joe Manchin from West Virginia.

This may be the beginning of the end of one of the most business-crushing entities in the nation. President Donald Trump is poised to introduce a series of executive actions aimed at scaling back Obama-era climate change initiatives.
The president intends to sign the actions during a visit to the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters to swear in Scott Pruitt as head of the agency, Inside EPA reported Tuesday, citing an administration source. The timing of the event has not been determined because the full Senate has not yet confirmed Pruitt.
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