Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Scott Pruitt Just Hung Up a List of His Top ‘Environmental Achievements’ at EPA

Popular
Scott Pruitt Just Hung Up a List of His Top ‘Environmental Achievements’ at EPA

New banners on display at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters highlight five "environmental achievements" under Administrator Scott Pruitt's leadership. But most of Pruitt's so-called achievements are in fact disastrous rollbacks of decades of environmental progress, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.


Eric Lipton of The New York Times posted a photo of one of the banners on Twitter. The first action touted is the: "Proposal to repeal the so-called Clean Power Plan."

That's the air pollution reduction initiative that career EPA scientists estimate would "lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children."

Only one of the five items on Pruitt's list sounds like an achievement on behalf of the environment and human health: "Cleaning up contaminated sites."

He's referring to EPA's Superfund program. Despite his rhetoric, Pruitt showed his true commitment to cleaning up the most polluted communities in the nation when he picked his friend and former banker, Albert "Kell" Kelly, to run the Superfund Task Force. Kelly has zero experience in the areas of environmental cleanups, policy, science or law and federal banking regulators have banned him for life from working in the banking industry.

Among Pruitt's other "achievements" are gutting a critical program to curb industrial and agricultural pollution in streams, which an EWG analysis found could imperil the drinking water for up to 117 million Americans.

"On behalf my colleagues in the environmental community, I express my sympathy to the dedicated EPA staffers who have to walk by Pruitt's banners every day," said Cook. "I guess he didn't want to fall behind Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke in the self-aggrandizing flag competition."

EWG has come up with its own list of the most significant "achievements" of Pruitt's first year.

  • Boasting that he's proud of his efforts to cut EPA's staff by 50 percent.
U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate Envoy John Kerry (L) and President-elect Joseph (R) are seen during Kerry's ceremonial swearing in as Secretary of State on February 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Scientific integrity is key for protecting the field against attacks. sanjeri / Getty Images

By Maria Caffrey

As we approach the holidays I, like most people, have been reflecting on everything 2020 has given us (or taken away) while starting to look ahead to 2021.

Read More Show Less
A pair of bears perch atop Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park, about 100 miles from the proposed Pebble Mine site. Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Environmental campaigners stressed the need for the incoming Biden White House to put in place permanent protections for Alaska's Bristol Bay after the Trump administration on Wednesday denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine that threatened "lasting harm to this phenomenally productive ecosystem" and death to the area's Indigenous culture.

Read More Show Less

OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less