It didn’t take long after Scott Pruitt took over as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the attacks to begin.
Disgruntled bureaucrats within the department began leaking what they claimed were Pruitt’s personal abuses of money, rules, and regulations. Naturally, it raised a firestorm in the media and among liberals.
With investigations by the Government Accountability Office, the EPA inspector general, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and two House committees, nobody is receiving more attention right now than Administrator Pruitt. The question is: why?
Besides being a typical example of how technocrats respond to anyone doing things other than their way, they fear Pruitt because he is dismantling expensive and unnecessary environmental policies of the Obama administration.
As Marc Morano, publisher of the influential Washington D.C.-based Climatedepot.com, explained, “His EPA reform agenda is their biggest threat…Pruitt is the target like no other because he has dared to actually reverse the green agenda in D.C. They will keep going until they claim Pruitt’s head!”
President Obama used the EPA as the major bureaucracy to implement the industry-and economy-destroying policy of controlling carbon dioxide (CO2).
His administration took the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pseudoscience findings that human-produced CO2 was causing runaway global warming (Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW) and converted it into policy. In the process, they bypassed the Constitutional checks and balances that require Congressional approval of policy and funding.
President Donald Trump knew that many Obama-administration draconian limits on development were achieved through the EPA. So, it was critical to take control of the agency quickly and clear the decks of the most troubling EPA rules and regulations and to introduce energy and environmental policies to make the U.S. economy grow.
Nobody on Trump’s team was better prepared and more capable of implementing this new approach than former Oklahoma Attorney General (AG) Scott Pruitt — a lawyer who had a brilliant mentor about the exploitation of climate and the environment in Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).
After all, it was Inhofe, with the help of Morano, then the senator’s research assistant, who filed the devastating December 11, 2008, U.S. Senate Minority Report, “More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims,” which drew violent reaction because it served to underscore that it was right on target.
Pruitt began acting right after his appointment as EPA Administrator was confirmed, drawing an immediate reaction from the Obama holdovers and the liberally committed ‘deep state’ bureaucrats in the department.
Pruitt survived the first salvo of charges, but by May 2018, he was under at least 12 separate investigations. Even more followed.
As a result of a Freedom of Information Act request from a group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Beryl Howell — chief judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia — ordered the EPA on June 1 to substantiate a remark Pruitt made in a March 9 CNBC interview.
Pruitt said, “Carbon dioxide created by human activity is not the primary driver of global climate change.”
To help the EPA back up the Administrator’s sensible statement, The Heartland Institute, an Illinois-based free-market think tank, shipped copies of the “Climate Change Reconsidered” series of reports to Pruitt. Heartland advised him “to use the 3,000-plus page report containing some 10,000 footnotes to comply with” the court order.
On June 8, Reps. Don Beyer (D–a.), Gerald Connolly (D–Va.), Ted Lieu (D–Calif.), Ruben Gallego (D–Ariz.), and Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.) signed an open letter asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into Pruitt “for potential violation of corruption laws.”
One of the reasons for the increase in these attacks is Pruitt’s April 30 introduction of “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science,” a new EPA rule saying that no scientific research study may be used for government environment and energy policy formulation unless full disclosure of the data and methods are provided.
Heartland Institute President Dr. Tim Huelskamp, explained the importance of this move: “For decades, the EPA has improperly claimed massive power to regulate nearly every aspect of our economy and lives. It is long overdue that the EPA should make such data and collection methods available for public review and analysis.”
The EPA is holding a public hearing for the proposed rule on July 17 in Washington, D.C., and has extended the comment period until August 16.
In support of Administrator Pruitt’s proposed new rule, Heartland submitted 38 pages of comments on June 21, asserting, “Probably the biggest blunder EPA has made concerning regulatory science has been accepting at face value the economic and public health pronouncements of the IPCC … Those pronouncements cannot be considered as rooted in climate science or economic science or the science of public health, but rather as an arbitrary, non-scientific exercise in political science.”
Unsurprisingly, promoters of AGW, including many bureaucrats at EPA, see the new rule as a threat. Yet its objectives are at the center of any legitimate science.
The most crucial test in science involves reproducible results. To verify some theory other scientists must be able to reproduce the same results but to do that they must have access to the data and methods.
Failure to follow these ideals allowed the corrupted ‘hockey stick’ to sell the world on AGW. In fact, the full data and methods are still not fully available for the ‘hockey stick.’
World War II Lancaster bomber pilot Sandy Mutch, who passed away at the age of 98 on April 15, 2018, said in 2013, “On bombing raids over Europe, we could tell we were closing in on the target when we started to get the most flak. Anyone who wants to kill the dangerous and unfounded climate scare … should focus on exposing the shaky science behind climate alarm. That is the Achilles heel of the whole movement. Shoot it down and you win the war!”
Pruitt must follow Mutch’s advice — ignore the flak and use it only as a guide to drop more bombs.
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.