Time to clean up the EPA

PAULA FORD

Altoona

According to the world’s climate scientists, we have until 2050 to reduce carbon pollution by 80 percent or face unprecedented weather extremes, massive wildfires, temperatures not seen for millions of years, and nearly 50 percent of all species on earth going extinct.

Instead of working as careful stewards of our environment, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration have doubled down on the strategy that has got us into this mess. They continue to push for more fossil fuel consumption while other countries are assuming leadership in turning to renewable energy.

Our EPA should help us transition to clean, renewable energy. Instead, Trump nominated (and the Senate has confirmed) a coal industry lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, to serve as the EPA’s deputy administrator. This continues his pattern of turning over the keys of our oversight agencies to the industries they oversee. Wheeler was a Washington lobbyist who represented one of the biggest polluters in the country, Murray Energy.

Pruitt is embroiled in scandals regarding his misuse of taxpayers’ funds for over $100,000 for first-class airfare, a $40,000 soundproof phone booth in his office, and a 20-person security detail. We don’t need the likes of Pruitt and Wheeler. If the President truly wants to drain the swamp, he should begin by getting rid of these two.

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