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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.
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