New EPA chief Scott Pruitt, who was appointed to the role due to his longtime support for the rights of polluters, was confirmed for his position six weeks ago. He’s already under internal investigation by his own department.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific integrity watchdog is reviewing whether EPA chief Scott Pruitt violated the agency’s policies when he said in a television interview he does not believe carbon dioxide is driving global climate change, according to an email seen by Reuters on Friday.
Lawyers for environmental group the Sierra Club had asked the EPA’s Office of Inspector General to check whether Pruitt violated policy when he told a CNBC interviewer on March 9, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
At issue is the EPA’s “scientific integrity” policy, which among other edicts requires that agency “policy makers shall not knowingly misrepresent, exaggerate, or downplay areas of scientific uncertainty associated with policy decisions.” Rejecting one of the key scientific conclusions about anthropomorphic climate change—that it exists at all—would seem to run afoul of those rules.
The EPA Inspector General’s office responded to the Sierra Club on Thursday in an email, saying it had referred the matter to the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Officer, Francesca Grifo, for review.
The Sierra Club sent that letter objecting to Pruitt’s statements approximately two weeks ago. Even if Pruitt is judged to have run afoul of the policy, it is unlikely he would face any repercussions other than a public report stating as such. He is, after all, in charge of the federal employees that would enforce such policies.
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Bipartisanship:
In an article from yesterday’s Washington Post that describes the increasing support among Senate Democrats to use reconciliation to pass health-care reform, is this from Arlen Specter:
But Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), a moderate Republican, warned that adopting reconciliation would be “a colossal mistake.” Democrats remain two votes short of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority in the Senate, and Specter is a key swing vote.
“There are those of us on this side of the aisle who have cooperated” Specter said. “I think it fair to say that to misuse the reconciliation process would be a very strong blow against bipartisanship and cooperation. Obviously, it would impede future activity by the Obama administration in reaching across the aisle to get necessary Republican votes.”
Well, this is quite the conundrum, isn’t it? Democrats can either water down the bill to get Arlen Specter’s grudging approval and call it bipartisanship … or they can enact actual health-care reform.
|Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”|