Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked a liberal environmental activist to give one concrete reason why she opposed President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the EPA. She couldn’t, and instead went on an unhinged rant.
Carlson’s guest was Erin Schrode, a former Democratic California House candidate, who compared Trump to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, as both were dubbed TIME’s “Man of The Year.”
Their conversation quickly shifted to Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who is Trump’s pick to lead the EPA.
“You don’t actually know anything about what you’re talking about, and you’re throwing out a lot of allegations as if someone were against clean air or for mercury,” Carlson told Schrode during the interview. “Is there another side to the case? Do you understand their position or does that not even interest you, learning what they think?”
“It’s not about learning what they think!” Schrode furiously replied. “It’s about the fact that this man, who is the head of the EPA, the nominee, has already acted about the things on which we’re speaking. He has sued to lessen the regulations from an environmental and public health standpoint.”
When Carlson asked which regulations Pruitt wanted to slash, Schrode was unable to name any. Carlson asked Schrode if she had a “degree in the hard sciences,” to which she replied that her degree is in “social and cultural analysis,” and was the co-founder of an environmental advocacy non-profit.
Carlson noted that starting an environmental non-profit with no science background is “a little weird.” This infuriated Schrode, who claimed that Pruitt was a “climate denier” and a “puppet of the fossil fuel industry.”
“All regulations are good and anyone who challenges them is an accomplice to Hitler’s rise, is a denier,” Carlson summarized Schrode’s statement. “That’s not the kind of conversation that leads to solutions, it’s the kind that leads to demonizing other people, and that’s bad.”
Schrode responded that Trump “built a whole campaign” around hate speech, and said Republicans have done the kind of demonization Carlson complained about.
“You just compared this guy to Hitler, and then with a straight face, you’re going to accuse him of engaging in hate speech?” Carlson replied. “I can barely hear the irony alarm is so loud in the background.”
Schrode and other activists claim Pruitt does the bidding of the energy industry — basing their allegations on a New York Times report claiming Pruitt and 27 other attorneys general collaborated with conventional energy companies to sue the EPA.
While activists are freaking out over Pruitt’s nomination, Trump has stated he plans to roll back EPA regulations blamed for hampering the coal industry. Trump says he will refocus the EPA to its core mission of protecting clean air and water.
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