Pay Attention to the Environmental Protection Agency

Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration’s EPA are extremely dangerous for our environment and country.


The Conservation Votes protest Scott Pruitt. (photo courtesy of Vox news)

Holly Rusch, Staff Writer

In a country full of hailstorms of presidential tweets and rapidfire administration changes, it’s easy to view the the long- term policy decisions of the Environmental Protection Agency as tame by comparison. But with Scott Pruitt at the helm, the EPA has been making some of the most dangerous decisions of the Trump administration.

As Michel Cohen’s office gets raided or internet squabbles continue with North Korea, it’s easy for  a country to ignore policy with words like ‘car emissions standards’ or ‘voluntary emissions reductions programs.’ Considering how the environmental impacts of these decisions are far from immediate, we’re just not paying attention.

But I’m here to tell you: rolling back those car emissions standards? Not only are they reducing our most concentrated effort to reduce carbon, they’re benefiting the auto industry far more than the average citizen. And those voluntary emissions reductions programs? Proposing cuts to them shows a complete disregard for the necessary research to fight climate change.

And while Scott Pruitt himself has been in the news quite a bit lately, it’s for federal investigations into his spending and conflicts of interest, not his comments that there are “hasty assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that is necessarily a bad thing.”

A man who cannot admit climate change is a negative is heading the administration in charge of protecting our environment- and yet, the longest lasting media coverage is his petty squabbles with President Trump and how much he spent on airplane flights.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to investigate Pruitt’s discrepancies and misuse of money. But it’s infinitely more important what he believes in regards to climate science and just who’s benefiting from the EPA’s policies.

A local science teacher at the Portola Valley School District explains, choosing her words carefully. “It shows how quickly negative change can be enacted. I see his policies, I see the words climate change being removed from the official website. It upsets me, because there are so many dedicated environmentalists who are being undermined.”

While controversy around Pruitt’s tenure is spreading and rumor has it that he might join the ever-growing list of fired administrators, what’s more concerning is the long term damage that his EPA has spearheaded. Like our teacher worries, aside from voicing their displeasure, dedicated conservationists have little place within the new EPA, even without Pruitt.

The fact remains: this EPA is rolling back protections, rather than increasing them. It’s firing climate change scientists and putting in place industry- backed professionals. The agency designed to protect our environment is quickly becoming ineffectual.

And even though the effects are in our future and not our present, the threat of climate change is the most pressing our planet and global community faces.

After all, when the head of the Environmental Protection Agency describes himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” it’s time to make a change. Or at the very least, it’s time to make it breaking news.