Pruitt, the new head of the EPA, said he seeks "compromise" between the environment and the marketplace. But that's not the EPA's job.
Scott Pruitt Laid Out A Vision For The EPA That Contradicts Its Mission
New Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt addressed EPA staff and the media Tuesday, and in a speech lasting less than 15 minutes, he spoke mostly about protecting jobs, industry and "the marketplace" and oh yeah, the environment, too. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2017/02/21/scott-pruitt-lays-out-a-vision-for-the-epa-that-contradicts-the-mission-of-the-epa/
Pruitt comes to the Trump administration from his previous job as Oklahoma attorney general where he spent a fair amount of time suing the very federal agency that he now heads. In six years he filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the EPA over expansion of the Clean Water Act and regulations on coal-fired power plants.
If that track record didn't make it clear what direction Pruitt will take the EPA, reading between the words of his introduction to the career employees who have spent decades working to safeguard our natural environment solidify it in crystal.
To start, let's just note that the word "climate" did not pass Pruitt's lips, so that's clearly no longer a priority at EPA, as we suspected.
Pruitt began laying out his vision and principles for running the agency by sharing a story of how the founding fathers once sat down together to work out a compromise that would lead to moving the nation's capitol from New York to the shores of the Potomac. He used the historical anecdote as a metaphor for how he will seek dialogue and compromise to address issues and problem solving related to "our environment and natural resources."
To be clear, in this context Pruitt is clearly referring to the industries that extract natural resources like oil and gas to bring them to market.
Pruitt sounds like a nice, reasonable guy in his remarks to be sure, but he's laying out a vision that already undercuts the very mission and long-term objectives of the agency he now leads.
He's not an elected official trying to compromise with other politicians to get bills passed. More of that sort of compromise, which is what was actually happening in his historical anecdote, would be great. But agencies like the EPA have missions and duties that are laid out in statute, which they must execute. Compromise with industry is not included. The mission of the EPA is actually quite simple: "to protect human health and the environment -- air, water and land."
That's it. Notice there's no mention of protecting extractive industries. For an EPA administrator to begin his tenure by calling for compromise and working together with polluters is a bit like an attorney representing a rape victim sitting down with the client before trial and reminding her that they'll need to keep in mind the concerns and needs of the perpetrator as they prosecute the case. ...
The article includes a listing of the Environmental Protection Agency Objectives.