How the Head of the EPA is Ruining the Environment

As business-friendly President Trump continues his term, we have all seen a theme: environmental issues will be taking a back seat for the next four years. But as Trump calls for an executive order that threatens 27 national parks and has already rolled back 25 environmental laws— with another 19 rollbacks in progress— we start to wonder if environmental issues are in the back seat, or completely thrown out the window.

According to an article in the New York Times, the EPA has been found to act illegally at least three times since July in their rush to roll back these environmental rules. One of the decisions that kickstarted the blatant disregard for our environmental well-being was the appointment of Scott Pruitt, a man who described himself on his own LinkedIn page as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda”. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that our business-friendly President appointed an equally as business-friendly head of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA.

Pruitt was the only cabinet member to speak after Trump announced that America would be pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, and Pruitt said the U.S. has “nothing to be apologetic about”, according his speech. Despite the fact that America is the leading country in carbon pollution in history and therefore contributes to the issue of climate change, Pruitt believes that other countries urged for our cooperation only because it put our country at an economic disadvantage, according to an interview with Fox News.

In the days following President Trump’s announcement to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, Pruitt appeared on ABC’s This Week, where he said: “We’ve had over 50,000 jobs since last quarter— coal jobs, mining jobs— created in this country. We had almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of May alone.”  According to the official Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 50,000 coal mining jobs in total, about 1,3000 jobs were created last year, and the monthly increase of jobs in May was only 4000.

Pruitt tips his hat to the oil companies time after time because he doesn’t believe in climate change. That’s right-- the head of our EPA doesn’t believe in climate change. He refuses to acknowledge any scientific evidence, and has gone on record saying that “there is not enough evidence” to prove that the rising carbon emissions are a direct result of human activity. Pruitt was such an advocator to pull out of the Paris agreement because of his disregard of climate change and enthusiasm toward big businesses. In an interview after Trump’s announcement, Pruitt said that the other countries only want us in the Paris agreement because it puts our economy at a disadvantage.

It is not the job of the EPA, nor is it the job of Scott Pruitt, to justify anti-environment decisions in the name of economic development or to make up numbers that represent the jobs that fossil fuel companies create. The mission statement of the EPA is to “protect human health and the environment”— and yet we find Pruitt making decisions that are detrimental to our environment in the name of business.

Pruitt is also known for changing traditions that the head of the EPA previously carried on. For example, he stopped the decade-long tradition of posting his calendar so that the public is aware of his agenda. Pruitt also has locked the door that leads to the staircase leading to his office, and even his employees have to be escorted to his office if they would like to speak with him. If I were to take a guess, I’d say that Scott Pruitt was all too aware of the enemies he was creating with his anti-environment decisions as the head of the EPA.