Since Trump appointed Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, a man with a long history of disdain for environmental protection, there has been an unprecedented effort to keep the public in the dark about regulatory changes that will harm their health.
On January 25th, just days after assuming office, the Associated Press reported that “The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants.”
Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.
According to the New York Times,
Pruitt… has terminated a decades-long practice of publicly posting his appointments calendar and that of all the top agency aides, and he has evaded oversight questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to the Democratic senators who posed the questions.
His aides recently asked career employees to make major changes in a rule regulating water quality in the United States — without any records of the changes they were being ordered to make. And the E.P.A. under Mr. Pruitt has moved to curb certain public information…
Former EPA director, William D. Ruckelshaus told the NYT,
“Something will happen, like Flint, and the public will realize they can’t get any information about what happened or why,” he said.
The Denver Post raises additional concerns over the rollback of clean water rules that will increase wastewater dumping.
The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to scrap an Obama-era measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Acting at the behest of electric utilities who opposed the stricter standards, Pruitt first moved in April to delay implementation of the new guidelines. The wastewater flushed from the coal-fired plants into rivers and lakes typically contains traces of such highly toxic heavy metals as lead, arsenic, mercury and selenium.
It doesn’t take a chemistry degree to understand that pouring more toxins into America’s waterways is detrimental to public health and wildlife. Therefore, the motivation of Pruitt’s EPA is likely intended to boost the bottom line of companies that simply don’t care about anyone’s health. While not technically considered a ‘bribe,’ it is a disturbing example of how a single business or industry can use campaign cash to hurt We the People.
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