The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Pruitt Wants to Make the EPA Less Accountable to the Public
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) breaks the law by missing deadlines, allowing polluters to violate regulations that protect our health and environment, one way the public holds it accountable is by taking the agency to court. Scott Pruitt and his corporate polluter allies see this as a problem, so Monday, the administrator moved to curtail the agency's practice of settling lawsuits with outside groups, making it easier to skirt the law.
"Pruitt's doing nothing more than posturing about a nonexistent problem and political fiction," John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air program said in reaction. "His targeting of legal settlements, especially where EPA has no defense to breaking the law, will just allow violations to persist, along with harms to Americans."
Over the years, the EPA has settled with numerous entities that have sued—industry groups, states and environmental organizations—but Pruitt's objection seems to focus solely on those who want to protect the nation's air, water and land. This new pro-polluter directive will serve only to prolong violations, delay protections and waste government resources fighting lawsuits against which the EPA has no defense.
"The irony is that polluters don't even have to sue Pruitt to get what they want. They just pick up the phone and ask," Walke said. "Make no mistake, the unspoken Trump EPA agenda is to allow more corporations to ignore the law and prolong EPA breaking the law; both will lead to dirtier air, dirtier water, and sicker people."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Paul Brown
When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.
By Lakshmi Magon
This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.
By Tara Lohan
If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.