We’ve seen over the past year and more that Pruitt’s reason d’etre at EPA is to take down environmental rules and regulations that are deemed a limit to the “freedom” of capitalist businesses to gut nature to maximize profitability. Pruitt was appointed by Trump for this despicable work because of his resume as Oklahoma Attorney General attacking the very things the EPA is supposed to protect-clean air, water, soil, wildlife, people’s health and ecosystems, etc.
Now, Pruitt is mired in a deep scandal, facing 12 different investigations arising from his outrageous hubris. Pruitt has his staff investigating places around the world he wants to visit, while fake “reasons” for the trips are made up to justify them. And any business Pruitt does on such trips, is dirty business. On one essentially tourist trip to Italy, he dined with the Vatican’s Cardinal Pell, the highest ranking Vatican official to be charged with child abuse. Also present was Leonard Leo, a Federalist Society lawyer who essentially is a head architect of Trump’s efforts to fill the country’s judiciary with right wing racists, bigots and extremists. (This piece on Leo’s judicial picks for Trump will set your hair on fire.)
Pruitt for his part tours the country and world, going to first-class restaurants, flying first class, and spending literally millions of dollars while he directs the deconstruction of environmental protection. Overwhelmingly, his meetings are with industry officials, essentially for planning how to go forward with eliminating any barriers to their exploitation of natural resources, which he deems ordained by God. Meanwhile, his EPA staffers carefully guard his schedule, appearances and security- eliminating any chance for the people to actually question him or protest him, because of fear of how hated he, and what he’s doing, is. So we need to find ways! One idea, how about protests at EPA offices or federal buildings?
Read or listen to this important and interesting interview with Eric Lipton, NYT Washington Bureau reporter on Fresh Air. It’ll burn you up and give impetus to demanding this guy resign now!
As Pruitt testifies today at another Congressional hearing, it’s important to push for his ouster, but at the same time connect the resistance a demand an end to all the ways the EPA has been made into a vehicle for destruction of the environment under Trump.
Getting rid of Pruitt can be a step forward but it won’t stop this regime from continuing it’s assault on nature. As one sign of this, the New York Times has reported that senior White House officials are calling for Pruitt to be replaced by the new #2 at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has built his career defending the coal industry’s “right” to destroy the climate.
According to this report,
“Some Republicans have said that Mr. Wheeler, a former Capitol Hill and E.P.A. staff member — known as a low-key but highly experienced Washington insider — would quite likely be as effective, and possibly more so, than Mr. Pruitt at undoing regulations, without drawing the embarrassing headlines of his boss.”
So efforts to push out Pruitt need to be linked to condemning the whole assault on nature being carried out by Trump and his cronies.
Further, Trump and Pence need to be not just resisted, but forced out of power and the direction of things reversed not just because of the threat they represent to the environment, but because of everything else this regime is doing. I’m speaking of the dangerous moves toward war, including nuclear war, most represented by Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal; the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and the sickening backing of open mass shooting of non-violent protesters by Israel in Gaza; the vicious attacks on immigrants, including the heartless plan to separate children from parents at the border and incarcerate both; the moves to undermine and do away with the rule law and stock the judiciary with racists, bigots and religious lunatics; and the overall implementation of an essentially fascist order.