Era damage to the EPA appears increasingly brutal

Era damage to the EPA appears increasingly brutal

One of the duties of the Task Force is to evaluate EPA's existing regulations and make recommendations to Administrator Pruitt regarding which regulations should be repealed, replaced, or modified.

"The new administration is at last willing to look at us, rather than not", he said.

Since his nomination in December, Pruitt has faced unprecedented opposition for someone seeking the role of the national environmental caretaker.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told dozens of Pennsylvania coal miners Thursday that the "regulatory assault" on their industry is over, and that the environment can be protected without hurting business.

"We're going to do it the American way, grow jobs and show the rest of the world how it's done", he said. Under Trump's budget, climate change research would be obliterated, funding for the clean up of hazardous sites would be slashed by 45 percent, environmental justice programs would be phased out, and a projected 3,200 jobs would be eliminated.

The EPA regulations on chemical plants came to fruition following an Obama-era executive order signed in 2013 to revisit those regulations following the West Texas accident. For starters, the president's efforts to boost the coal industry haven't changed the minds of electric utility executives who are moving forward with plans to shut down large amounts of coal-fired generating capacity as part of a shift to natural gas and renewable energy.

"It's been said - I think you've heard it said - you can't have your cake and eat it too", Pruitt said.

That executive order troubled 23 Senate Democrats enough to send Pruitt a letter April 7 asserting that the EPA has an obligation under law to address carbon pollution.

By requesting public comment, the new team leading the EPA could score more ammunition in supporting its agenda to overturn regulations implemented over the previous decade.

"We still need that (coal) base for supplying power", he said.

The Obama administration finalized the ELG rule in 2015 and it went into effect in January 2016. No mention of our country's clean energy sector, which is busier than ever producing jobs: three million and counting, according to new government data. While he said during his confirmation hearings that he, unlike the position offered by Trump, does not believe that climate change is a "hoax", he would not concede that global environmental change was caused by humans. Could the Trump administration be opening another door that, in a few weeks, they may wish they had left shut?

The Trump administration is taking a sledgehammer to the EPA budget with the intent of crippling the agency's protection of our water and air.

Pruitt said his own biggest objection with the accord is that "America was put last".

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