Pruitt is truly terrifying as Trump’s tap for EPA tzar
by Len Bahr, Ph.D.
On December 7 MotherJones.com published a column by Ben Dreyfuss, in which Donald Trump’s tap of climate change denier-in-chief Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator was described as an existential threat to the planet. The same day Vox.com published a piece by Brad Plumer on the same subject. On December 8 ThedailyBeast.com published an article by former EPA staffer Jay Michaelson that includes a point by point set of basic environmental protection rules that will likely be overturned if Pruitt is confirmed by the Republican majority Senate. On the same day TheAtlantic.com published a piece on Pruitt by Robinson Meyer, which is slightly less pessimistic because of some built in inertia in the agency that makes overturning rules somewhat cumbersome.
Trump’s EPA choice is even more disastrous when considered in the context of the possible pick of Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Sec’y of State. Consider that a few years back Tillerson was a prospective partner with Vladimir Putin in a $500 billion Arctic oil production scheme. This deal was nixed after the Russians invaded Crimea and began threatening the Ukraine, during the time when a Russian partnership was considered more a threat than an opportunity by rational folks.
Tillerson’s connections with Louisiana are worrisome, especially with Exxon’s flagship refinery and chemical plant being such a dominant econo-political player in Baton Rouge.
On December 8 The Advocate published a discussion by Elizabeth Crisp and Tyler Bridges on Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Baton Rouge on December 9 (tomorrow) to promote Trump advocate and Senate hopeful John Kennedy in his runoff with Foster Campbell. This is a race in which underdog Campbell alone discusses climate change and other coastal issues. In the Advocate piece and in other election coverage the local print and broadcast media have been virtually silent on: (a) the vulnerability of Louisiana to climate change;* (b) the razor-thin GOP majority in the Senate; and (c) how Campbell’s Senate votes could help keep hope alive on climate change action.
Sadly but predictably the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Coalition has been absolutely silent on: (a) Saturday’s election with its critical climate change implications; (b) Trump’s outrageous appointment of Scott Pruitt for EPA chief; and (c) his even more outrageous possible choice of Exxon potentate Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. I assume that concern about jeopardizing their ongoing grant support from the Walton Family Foundation is the cat that got these NGOs their collective tongue. So much for the coast.
At any rate, on Saturday December 10 please vote Foster Campbell for Senate, whose campaign paid absolutely nothing for this plug. America’s Delta depends on your vote.
*The only print media exceptions of which I’m aware are an editorial in The Daily Comet by Keith Magill and the ongoing coastal series by Bob Marshall in TheLensNola.org. An A/P interview on November 29 with Tor Tornqvist from Tulane Univ. shown on WWL-TV in New Orleans is a lone broadcast exception.