Of course, we grow weary of noting all the times Donald Trump has contradicted himself. And those who thought he would in the end support sensible environmental controls were either fools or not listening. But it is true that more than once during the campaign, Trump reassured voters that “Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important” (NYTimes Trump Interview Transcript). Of course, this statement is a coherent excerpt from an incoherent ramble on climate change denial.
But even this claim is utterly confounded by Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Honestly, I wonder why we should bother working to protect our children, when with one swipe of an odious hand, all our efforts are wiped away. Even the most basic protections, hard-earned over decades, are at risk. We can expect more sick and dead children and adults as a direct result. Given the imminent perils of climate change, however, none of that may seem important in another generation or two. How can it be conservative to destroy the very basis of life on this planet? Despite the undeniable reason for despair, however, we are not entitled to sit back and watch it happen, at least not if we care about the future of civilization. I hope readers will join me in trying to move from grief to rebellion, from surrender to activism. At the very least, let us be on the right side of history, even if we fear that someday soon, there will be no one left to read it.
Had Donald Trump spent an entire year scouring the country for someone to weaken clean air and clean water laws and repudiate America’s leadership role in the global battle against climate change, he could not have found a more suitable candidate than Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, whom he picked on Wednesday to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is an aggressively bad choice, a poke in the eye to a long history of bipartisan cooperation on environmental issues, to a nation that has come to depend on the agency for healthy air and drinkable water, and to 195 countries that agreed in Paris last year to reduce their emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the belief that the United States would show the way. A meeting Monday between Mr. Trump and Al Gore had raised hope among some that the president-elect might reverse his campaign pledge to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord. The Pruitt appointment says otherwise.
Since becoming Oklahoma’s top legal officer in 2011, Mr. Pruitt has been a bitter opponent of the E.P.A., joining in one lawsuit after another to kill off federal environmental regulations. He has challenged standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that cross state lines. He has fought protections against mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollutants from power plants. He has sued to overturn an E.P.A. rule modestly enlarging the scope of the Clean Water Act to protect streams and wetlands vital to the nation’s water supply.
More recently — and of greater interest to the world community — he has joined with other states in a coordinated effort to overturn the E.P.A.’s Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s regulatory efforts to reduce carbon pollution. If approved by a federal court, the plan could transform the electricity sector, close down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and encourage the growth of cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.
Read the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/opinion/an-enemy-of-the-epa-to-head-it.html?_r=0
New York Times. 2016, November 23. Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/politics/trump-new-york-times-interview-transcript.html
New York Times. 2016, December 7. An Enemy of the E.P.A to Head It. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/opinion/an-enemy-of-the-epa-to-head-it.html?_r=0