EPA employees are calling their senators to complain about President Donald Trump’s choice to head the agency, according to The New York Times.
They are furious Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the agency. Pruitt has battled the EPA numerous times in court, earning the hatred of many of the agency’s employees.
“Employees of the [EPA] have been calling their senators to urge them to vote on Friday against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the E.P.A,” reports The New York Times.
Agency employees are likely concerned about budget cuts, as leaked memos from Trump’s transition team call for $513 million in cuts to the “states and tribal assistance grants,” and claim $193 million in savings from eliminating agency global warming programs and $109 million in savings from cutting “environment programs and management.”
“Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in E.P.A. offices around the country say the calls are a last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting – by a president who has vowed to ‘get rid of’ it,'” NYT reports.
The employee campaign is not likely to succeed. Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have announced they’ll vote to confirm Pruitt’s confirmation; one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, will oppose him.
EPA’s employees are so depressed by this and other Trump policies that they’ve reportedly been arriving at work in tears.
An anonymous EPA communications career employee told Pro-Publica that “more than a few friends were ‘coming to work in tears’ each morning as they grappled with balancing the practical need to keep their jobs with their concerns for the issues they work on.”
The Trump administration allegedly instructed the EPA to freeze all grants for projects, research on global warming, air quality monitoring and education, and instructed employees not to discuss the spending freeze outside the agency, according to reports last month
The Trump White House global warming webpage was taken down seconds after Trump formally took office. The link for Obama’s old global warming webpage currently redirects to a Trump transition webpage.
Trump also allegedly ordered the EPA to take down its global warming webpage, however, it is currently still up. The page contains some links to EPA’s data on carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as other greenhouse gas emissions and lists the effects the agency says global warming will have. The site doesn’t host much of the data, however, and only aggregates links to it.
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