Donald Trump has followed through on one of his most audacious campaign promises by nominating one of the most vociferous critics of the Environment Protection Agency to be its next director — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. According to an Environmental Defense Fund spokesman, Pruitt has challenged the legality of an EPA finding that forms the basis for its ability to limit carbon dioxide emissions, including those for autos. Oh, great. Trump is willing to sacrifice the health and safety of every American in order to let his friends in the oil and gas industry continue to rape and pillage the land in pursuit of corporate profits.
“For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn,” Trump said in a statement released by his transition team. “As my EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt…will reverse this trend and restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe.”
Appointing a fossil fuel advocate to keep our air and water safe is an oxymoron of such staggering proportions that it beggars belief. Knowing that The Donald would almost certainly move to dismantle the EPA — discarding CAFE regulations in the process — is likely the primary reason why the agency on December 1 published its proposed final fuel economy rules that will be applicable until 2025. The rules have a 30 day comment period which will be up by the end of the year. Look for the EPA to make the rules permanent on the first business day of the new year. Doing so will make it harder for The Trumpster to overturn them and give environmentalists more leverage to resist rescinding them.
All of the major car makers have joined in a concerted effort by their trade group – the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — to block the rules and get permission to build any damn vehicles they want, subject only to which models will fill corporate coffers with the most shekels. The environment be damned. Of course, consumers can fight back by simply refusing to buy cars manufactured by any of the companies that are part of the Alliance.
Its mealy mouthed CEO, Mitch Bainwol, said the group hopes to work with Pruitt to help ensure that the mid-term evaluation “is completed thoroughly and with close attention to achieving a balanced outcome so that we can continue to achieve gains in fuel efficiency and carbon reduction while also protecting customer affordability and auto-dependent jobs.”
Using his position as attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt has filed suit against many of the EPA’s rules, including a regulation slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a water pollution measure, and the agency’s conclusion that carbon dioxide is a pollutant endangering public health and welfare. Yup, what we need is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Scott!
Several senators immediately said they would oppose his nomination, including U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who called Pruitt “unsuitable to lead the EPA” because of his history “carrying water for Big Oil. The EPA is our cop on the beat, protecting the American people and our environment from harmful pollution, hazardous waste and the impacts of climate change,” Markey said in an e-mailed statement. “He has dedicated years of his career to rolling back the bedrock laws and rules that protect our water and our air.”
Environmental groups are already laying the groundwork for the confirmation hearing for Pruitt, urging their supporters to lobby the Senate to reject Pruitt. “That’s a tough fight. We know that,” said Seth Gladstone, a spokesman for the Washington-based Food & Water Watch. “We will appeal to senators’ sense of moral obligation to protect the earth and human health.” Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, signaled Pruitt faces a tough battle. “We are totally mobilizing on this one,” Schatz told reporters in Washington, adding that he expects “it will be extremely difficult” for Pruitt to be confirmed.
Maybe. Senate rules now prevent a filibuster to block Cabinet level appointments. Since virtually all Republicans in the Senate are beholden to the oil and gas industry for their jobs, finding one or two who are willing to break ranks with their colleagues is going to be very difficult. Welcome to Trumperica, where “profits not people” will be the watchwords the next administration lives by. Without an EPA, America will be able to get back to the halcyon days when we burned coal and lots of it to keep our economy humming.
We are now entering at least four years of what some call a kakacracy — a government composed of the worst people possible. But that’s OK. At least we won’t have any people of color, any immigrants, any Muslims or Jews, any Mexicans, or any homosexuals in Trumperica. People will urinate where we tell them to, not wherever they feel like. Kinda makes a white person feel proud, doesn’t it?
Source: Automotive News with contributions from Bloomberg