Image via official Bristol Bay Borough site
Crescenta Valley High School

Editorial: Scott Pruitt, EPA change policies for the worse

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the body that enforces and manages national regulations to protect the environment as well as the health of the American people.

With the presidency of Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt was appointed as the Administrator of the EPA, replacing Regina McCarthy. Pruitt is a Republican who was previously the Attorney General of Oklahoma. As Attorney General, he sued the EPA a total of 14 times. Nevertheless, he officially took his position as EPA Administrator earlier this year on Feb. 17.

Since his induction, Pruitt has been hard at work proposing reversals and cutbacks to new and existing EPA policies. He has begun to reevaluate dozens of regulations in an attempt to shut them down, and for many, he has been successful. The decades of combat necessary to build some of these policies have been eradicated in just a few short hours.

For instance, in October, Pruitt announced that the EPA would be withdrawing protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska in favor of an open-pit mine three times larger than the largest one in the world, Bingham Canyon in Utah. Bristol Bay is a nearly pristine wild salmon fishery with a delicate environmental balance that keeps its ecosystem providing the Alaskan fish industry close to 50 million salmon a year. The mine would inevitably cause irreversible destruction to the bay and forever disrupt the salmon spawning process to the point where the net yield would be zero, thus one of the most important salmon resources in the world would be permanently depleted.

In addition, Pruitt is known for being a strong critic of the scientific fact of climate change, a fundamental that the EPA had established at the forefront during the Obama administration. Pruitt has since reduced the enforcement of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, lessening regulations wherever he is able to. He has also overruled the recommendations of his own staff, ignored proven scientific research, and refused to acknowledge several environmental dangers. This has caused controversy in not only the media and concerned citizens, but also Pruitt’s own staff of environmental experts who are shocked at the almost immediate detrimental results of his appointment.

Aside from having removed the climate change page from the EPA website, Pruitt has also ruled that evidence and research is no longer necessary for a variety of environmental issues.

However, with Trump’s behavior regarding the Paris Climate Accords, a climate change agreement from which he has announced the withdrawal of the United States, it is not surprising that he would appoint Pruitt, an experienced lawyer and now, renowned anti-environmentalist.

It is apparent that Pruitt has a plan to dramatically deregulate the very programs and policies that keep the United States from environmental turmoil. According to many, the EPA is in trouble, and there must be an intervention to save the precious remainder of the nation from damage and destruction.


  • Reply allan roberts December 29, 2017 at 7:25 am

    The Republican Party led By Donald Trump and his enforces Scott Pruitt…… is the only significant group of people

    in the ENTIRE WORLD……. who are climate change deniers.

    The United States has always been at the forefront of being good stewards of planet earth and it

    has now ……..abdicated that sacred…honored…and sacrosanct….. responsibility.

    This president who actually knows very little, reads almost not at all, has a short attention span,and who is

    indifferent to concepts and scientific evidence,and therefore is completely unqualified to establish

    legislative policy that now impacts the fate of this tiny blue marble we all inhabit.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Reply Rachel Phillips December 30, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Pebble Partnership participated in the EPA review process for five years, but failed to submit a permit. Pebble refused to agree upon environmental standards proposed by the EPA restricting dams built with mine tailings. Stossel condemns the EPA for justifiably protecting the headwaters of rivers flowing into Bristol Bay under the Clean Water

    Environmentalists fear a mine could leak toxins into the Chilkat River, kill the fish that draw eagles to the pristine, mountainous region every year and ruin a national treasure. The eagles congregate on the river because thermal springs keep it ice free for longer periods than most waterways in The Last Frontier, allowing the eagles, as well as bears and other animals, to feast on fish into the late fall before the river freezes over.

    “Something happens up there, we could be directly harmed,” he said. “It could cause great disruption in salmon fishing, also crab fishing in the Stikine flats and it has the potential to even affect fisheries across the Gulf and into the Bering Sea. It could be much more horrendous than just its effect on salmon.”

    “If pollution gets into that water supply,” says Dan Schindler, head of the Alaska Salmon Program, “it’s going to be nearly impossible to contain.”
    He is the head ecologist for the University of Washington and has spent his life studying how tens of millions of king and sockeye salmon surge through Bristol Bay each summer, on their way to spawn in the exact lake or stream of their birth.

    Liked by 1 person

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