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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has told Maine Public Radio that she will vote against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. She acknowledged his accomplishments, but the two of them have too many different views when it comes to the EPA:
“Specifically, I have significant concerns that Mr. Pruitt has actively opposed and sued the EPA on numerous issues that are of great importance to the state of Maine, including mercury controls for coal-fired power plants and efforts to reduce cross-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” she says. “His actions leave me with considerable doubts about whether his vision for the EPA is consistent with the agency’s critical mission to protect human health and the environment.”

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.

I asserted that the most rogue agency under the Obama Administration was the Environmental Protection Agency. I think President Trump, who is focused on reducing America's regulatory burden, agrees. Not even a week into his presidency, it appears that Trump has put a freeze on spending for that agency.
President Donald Trump's administration has ordered ordered a freeze on some Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts to states, as the department braces for more dramatic changes going forward.

As President Obama spends the remainder of his presidency pardoning trangenders who disclosed vital security information, appointing fabulists to key positions, and releasing dangerous Gitmo detainees, people are beginning to mull over what we will remember most about this era. I assert that the damage caused by the rogue bureaucracy within the Environmental Protection Agency will float to the top of legacy cesspool. So, while Democratic politicos grill Scott Pruitt, the candidate likely to head the EPA in the Trump administration, the agency has finished its misrule under Obama appropriately enough.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to lead the EPA, will face the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at 10AM EST. This has potential to become one of the more feisty confirmation hearings because of his ties to everything Democrats hate: fossil fuels, skeptical of man-made climate change, and lawsuits against the EPA. Please watch live with us below and follow along as I live blog the hearing!

The Clean Air Moms Action, part of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, has started a $100,000 campaign against President-elect Donald Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt. The campaign will use children's health concerns in ads in Washington, D.C. and six states that have "senators who could swing the confirmation vote." What an original technique! Using children to attack your opponent because you don't hate children, do you? Yeah, well, evidence has shown that Pruitt embraces science. Also, the EPA has done a stellar job with environment disasters, haven't they?

The recent report issued about the relationship between fracking and drinking water is a classic example of how the elite media generates fake news, in the effort to virtue signal and get readers. In June of last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a report indicating that fracking isn’t causing widespread damage to the nation’s drinking water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—after a four-year study that is the U.S. government’s most comprehensive examination of the issue to date—concluded that hydraulic fracturing, as being carried out by industry and regulated by states, isn’t having “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.”

When Donald Trump makes his final cabinet nomination, it will be hard to pick out which of the bold selections is most golden. Retired Marine General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense was in the running for my top choice. However, it appears that Myron Ebell, the climate change "criminal" who is spear-heading Trump's EPA transition team, was busy identifying a nominee for EPA Chief who just bumped "Mad Dog" Mattis down a notch on my list.

It has been fascinating to watch the the elite media and Washington insiders reactions to the speed and efficiency of Trump's transition team organization and appointee selection. With so much happening so quickly, I wanted to keep an eye on one of the most troubling agencies under the Obama Administration: The Environmental Protection Agency. The response of the big government bureaucrats in the EPA is likely to offer a clue about how they are going to behave in other federal organizations. Legal Insurrection readers may recall that 27% of federal employees claimed they would quit their jobs if Donald Trump was elected. However, instead of quitting, it's more likely they'll exit a little less gracefully.

I just blogged that Donald Trump picked Myron Ebell, Director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and a noted climate change skeptic, to head his transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency. The current head of that agency is feeling the chill wind of change, and is heating up the implementation of environmental regulations ahead of Trump's inauguration.
"As I've mentioned to you before, we're running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama's presidency," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a staff memo obtained by the Washington Examiner after Trump was declared the winner of Tuesday's election.

Mary Chastain reviewed the impressive list of candidates for Donald Trump's cabinet released by Buzzfeed, featuring well-known politicos such as Rudy Guiliani, Newt Gingrich, and Chris Christie, Ben Carson, and Sarah Palin. However, via Don Surber, comes proof that Trump intends to dramatically change the political climate with his appointments by naming someone with a bit less notoriety to a fairly significant position.
Trump picked Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, to head his transition team at the EPA.

A few weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled out a brand new "Climate Justice" program.
This initiative would be incomplete, however, if it did not target those most disproportionately impacted by climate change. It has been well documented that the impacts of a warming and increasingly unstable climate are already weighing more heavily on underserved, low-income, minority, and tribal communities.
As with Obamacare, Americans who believe that this new program is actually going to improve their lives will be...deeply disappointed.

According to its mission statement, the Environmental Protection Agency acts is protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment. However, since its formation in 1970, the statement may have secretly been amended to include that the agency must also want to go out on a limb for that area. It is at least one explanation for the EPA Inspector General indicating that the organization acted too slowly to address the lead contamination discovered in the Flint, Michigan water supply.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had the authority and information to take decisive action on the lead contamination of Flint's drinking water in June of 2015 -- seven months before it actually acted, a federal watchdog said Thursday. The Office of Inspector General for the EPA said the agency should have issued an emergency order to protect Flint residents from the contaminated water in the summer of 2015. The EPA didn't issue such an order until Jan. 21 of this year.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will not prosecute an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee who had a hand in last year’s massive spill of toxic mine waste that contaminated Colorado's Animas River.
A year-long investigation by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the unnamed employee may have broken federal water pollution law and may have made false statements to law enforcement officials regarding the Gold King Mine spill. But after the OIG referred its findings for potential prosecution, the United States Attorney for Colorado, headed by acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, declined last week to pursue the charges, OIG spokesman Jeffrey Lagda said Wednesday. The decision by the Troyer’s office means that no one will be prosecuted as a result of the OIG’s investigation into the incident.

Last week, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would battle the "regulatory industry" that has prospered under President Obama. The Environmental Protection Agency has been the tycoon of this industry. Now, in what is hopefully a sign of turnaround, a court has ruled in favor of American farmers who have been pitted against the agency in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
A federal appeals court recently overruled a lower court decision to throw out a lawsuit brought by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its release to environmental groups of personal information on tens of thousands of farmers. In late 2015, a U.S. district court dismissed the NPPC-Farm Bureau suit for lack of standing. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis ruled that “the associations have established a concrete and particularized injury in fact traceable to the EPA’s action and redressable by judicial relief.”

Residents in the West Calumet Complex in East Chicago got quite a shock over a month ago, when Department of Health officials began testing for lead poisoning and arsenic contamination.
...In a letter from the EPA dated July 11, 2016, [Shantel Allen] was informed that some parts of her yard had lead levels up to 66 times above the lead limit and 55 times above the arsenic limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. But what shocked her even more was that the letter said her "property was tested for lead and arsenic at the end of 2014." Which means the test was somewhere in a lab, on a shelf, on a desk or getting processed for more than a year and a half before she learned of the danger she and her children were in. "I was pregnant while in this complex -- exposed to lead, sleeping on a contaminated bed, laying on a contaminated couch -- nobody said anything. They kept this very well hidden from all of us," Allen said.

Truly, the 21st century is not turning out as I envisioned. We have been closely following the #FlintWatercrisis. After relying on science, technology, and public policy for decades to guarantee safe drinking water, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy just wrote a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver explaining why the region's water woes are going to continue into the foreseeable future.
...Among the problem areas identified by McCarthy:
  • Flint's water system is oversized for its current and projected water demand, leading to water not moving through the system as designed. This standing water in pipes can erode the residual chlorine that protects against pathogens.
  • "The water treatment plant is not adequately staffed, operated or administered to reliably deliver safe drinking water for years into the future," McCarthy stated. Additional "experienced and expert operators" and improved standard operating procedures and preventive and corrective maintenance programs are needed.
  • The EPA administrator also was critical of city leadership. "Flint needs a city administration that can provide stable, reliable and quick administrative support essential to a well-functioning drinking water system," she stated in her letter....
So while the EPA is struggling to deal with the lead in Flint's water system, another government agency has issued a troubling report on an aquatic contaminant that has become ubiquitous in the public water system: Synthetic estrogen from contraceptives.
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