Scott Pruitt: Get Smart

Maxwell Smart and Scott Pruitt share two things in common: bumbling ineptitude and a love of top-secret phones, albeit a shoe phone in Mr. Smart’s case. Unlike Mr. Pruitt, however, Mr. Smart always worked for the common good, deploying his ineptitude to save the day. With his gross incompetence, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt serves his wealthy fossil fuel patrons by enacting policies that present devastating threats to the air we breathe and the water we drink. The consequences of his disastrous decisions jeopardize the health and welfare of our children’s future.

Pruitt claims that regulations are killing the coal industry. To the contrary, renewables and market forces are putting coal out of business, despite his attempts to keep the industry on life support.  Pruitt now wants to roll back rules that help protect our drinking water from coal ash—the largest source of toxic pollution in our waterways. For every day that Pruitt props up the coal industry, Americans suffer loss to their health and property.

Pruitt’s disdain for the Clean Water Act and the waters it regulates reflects both a complete ignorance of how an ecosystem works and his utter fealty to industry. He now plans to determine from Washington, D.C., whether a waterway in Seattle or Utah or Florida is worth protecting under the Clean Water Act. This comes at a time when, unfortunately, the majority of our nation’s assessed waters are polluted and are not meeting the federal Clean Water Act’s minimum standards for the protection of public health, public water supply, propagation of fish and wildlife, and/or recreational, agricultural, industrial, and other purposes.

Under the guise of transparency, Pruitt now proposes to limit the types of science EPA can use in protecting human health and the environment. In reality, Pruitt seeks limits on science to protect his fossil fuel profiteer and chemical industry pals from the overwhelming evidence that their activities are irreversibly harming human health and our time on this planet. The real transparency here is that the new rule is designed to allow Pruitt to further plunder key human health and environmental safeguards.  

And in a show of his true colors, in Congressional hearings Pruitt cast the blame on his staff for deluxe spending practices, professing ignorance about a $43,000 phone booth, and waffling about the extent of which he knew about controversial raises. Moreover, he seemed to simply dismiss all of the ethical allegations against him as the work of the “fake news” media and a concerted effort to derail President Trump’s agenda. But Democratic and Republican Congressman alike, including Gregg Harper (R-MS), expressed concern about reports that whistleblowers on Pruitt’s spending were reassigned or removed, to which Pruitt responded: “I’m not aware of that ever happening.” Other Republican Senators expressed concern over his lavish spending; Ryan Costello (R-PA) found some of his answers “lacking or insufficient.” This is because, since his time in office, Pruitt has demonstrated a complete disregard for our taxpayer dollars.  

Simply put, Pruitt isn’t draining the swamp—he’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Regardless of politics and all of his alleged ethical lapses, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s biggest scandal is making decisions that favor the wallets of the fossil fuel barons at the expense of the American people. Fortunately, Mr. Pruitt’s ineptitude has led to hasty and sloppy rulemakings and rollbacks that we plan to defeat in court. Nevertheless, someone in DC needs to “Get Smart” and remove Pruitt from office now.

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