Articles on Scott Pruitt

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Customers line up to buy gasoline in San Jose, California, on March 15, 1974, during an Arab oil embargo. The crisis spurred enactment of the first U.S. vehicle fuel economy standards. AP

Government fuel economy standards for cars and trucks have worked

Since the federal government started setting fuel economy standards, US-built cars have doubled their fuel efficiency, saving money for consumers and reducing pollution.
One of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature moves has been to put the brakes on stringent fuel economy rules. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

I’m suing Scott Pruitt’s broken EPA - here’s how to fix it

An academic suing the EPA over its decision to bar certain scientists from serving on advisory boards says the EPA needs to address legitimate criticisms to rebuild after Pruitt.
Grid operators set the prices for energy markets and are structured to take the lowest prices – a disadvantage for coal and nuclear power.

The pull of energy markets – and legal challenges – will blunt plans to roll back EPA carbon rules

Two moves by the Trump administration signal a dramatic shift in energy policy to favor coal and nuclear, but markets forces and legal challenges mean changes could take years.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is an unabashed ally of the fossil fuels – industry his agency is supposed to regulate. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Trump administration’s zeal to peel back regulations is leading us to another era of robber barons

The Trump administration is committed to deregulating industry, as it's done with the EPA Clean Power Plan. But a historian shows how regulations have actually benefited both industry and consumers.
To comply with air pollution laws, midwest energy companies built tall smokestacks to displace pollutants. This one at Indiana’s Rockport Generating Station is 1,038 feet high, just 25 feet shorter than the Eiffel Tower. Don Sniegowski

Why shifting regulatory power to the states won’t improve the environment

Trump administration officials argue that states can regulate more effectively than the federal government. But without leadership from the top, federalism may allow red states to avoid acting.
Scientists provide key input to government agencies on issues such as improving oil spill prevention and response after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. U.S. Coast Guard

History shows that stacking federal science advisory committees doesn’t work

Can federal agencies stack advisory panels with friendly members? Some have tried, but a scientist who has advised many administrations says they will produce bad policies that lack broad support.
Environmentalists are not fans of EPA chief Scott Pruitt. Reuters/Mike Theiler

How environmentalists can regroup for the Trump era

Green groups fighting Trump's anti-environmental agenda should heed precedents from the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. They can also learn from the Australian experience.
Snow geese settle on a wetland in North Dakota. If the Trump administration successfully rescinds the Clean Water Rule, many wetlands might lose federal protection. Krista Lundgren USFWS/Flickr

Does Scott Pruitt have a solid case for repealing the Clean Water Rule?

The Clean Water Rule spells out which streams, wetlands and other water bodies receive federal protection. The Trump administration wants to repeal it, but will face high hurdles in court.
Cleanup at the GE Housatonic Superfund site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 2007. Years of PCB and industrial chemical use at GE’s Pittsfield facility and improper disposal led to extensive contamination around the town and down the entire length of the Housatonic River. USACE/Flickr

Cutting Superfund’s budget will slow toxic waste cleanups, threatening public health and property values

President Trump's budget would cut funding for Superfund, which cleans up the nation's most toxic sites, by nearly one-third. An economist explains how Superfund cleanups benefit local communities.
The outdoor retail industry is moving its lucrative trade show out of Utah after disputes with state officials over land conservation. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Climate politics: Environmentalists need to think globally, but act locally

President Trump says environmental regulation kills jobs. To fight back, conservation advocates need to show that protecting the environment can produce jobs and local benefits.
The current EPA administrator says the agency should prioritize clean air and clean water, rather than deal with greenhouse gases. billy_wilson/flickr

Now under attack, EPA’s work on climate change has been going on for decades

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said the agency's purview should not include climate change, but a look at its history under both Republican and Democratic presidents says otherwise.
The bad old days: Public and political support for the EPA was highest when environmental problems like air and water pollution were more obvious than current problems like climate change or endocrine disruptors. U.S. National Archives

Why Trump’s EPA is far more vulnerable to attack than Reagan’s or Bush’s

Today's political climate gives new EPA head Scott Pruitt a clear path to seriously cut back EPA enforcement – more than previous administrations.

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