E.P.A. Administrator Scott Pruitt’s evil is pretty underrated. Drowned out by the administration’s daily cacophony of homophobic manikins and misogynistic mouth-breathers and racist cave-dwellers, Pruitt plays more of a Mr. Burns, plotting in the wings, slowly dismantling the agency he is sworn to protect. But now he’s making the president look bad, and it has to stop!
Or, that’s exactly what Senator John Kennedy said Face the Nation on Sunday:
I don’t mean to denigrate Mr. Pruitt, but doggone it, he represents the president of the United States, and it is hurting his boss. And it needs to stop.
Pruitt’s been in the elimination chair this week for abusing the Safe Drinking Water Act to get six-figure pay raises for aides, accepting a very low-priced condo rental from lobbyists, and abusing taxpayer dollars on security detail and trips (including one to Disneyland) which the Associated Press’s current tally runs up to $3 million.
Trump has been reportedly displeased with the bad press, which leeched well into the Sunday morning cable news.
Senator Lindsey Graham told ABC’s This Week that “it doesn’t look good,” but on Meet the Press today, Senator Mike Rounds compared the scandal to “nitpicking.”
“Oh, he has too big of a security detail? Is that suddenly the reason why you fire someone?” he asked.
In fact, there are other reasons to fire him! He was okay with cutting the E.P.A. budget by 31 percent. He has proposed repealing or delaying more than thirty important environmental rules in just one year, the New Yorker reports; he posits that climate change is up for debate and supported leaving the Paris Accord; he went to Morocco to shill US natural gas (at a $40,000 expense); it’s reportedly well-known that he barely meets with environmentalists and spends the majority of his time with polluters his agency is supposed to regulate.
Those details are laid out in a chilling profile from the New Yorker this week, which puts condo-gate to shame:
[As Oklahoma attorney general], Pruitt’s obeisance to the energy industry was sometimes startling. Four years ago, Eric Lipton, of the Times, revealed that a letter Pruitt once sent to E.P.A. regulators, complaining that they had overestimated how much pollution new oil wells were producing in Oklahoma, had been copied, nearly word for word, from a draft supplied by Devon Energy. William F. Whitsitt, who then directed government relations at Devon, praised the letter as “outstanding.”
Margaret Talbot also mentions that Pruitt sued the E.P.A. 14 times throughout the Obama administration.
Towards the administration’s broader goals of dismantling decades of progress piece by piece and replacing it with nothing, it’s hard to imagine anybody doing a better job. Trump said so himself!