Update: Myron Ebell was on the Trump Transition Team to pick the EPA director. The nominee for Director is now Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general. Pruitt calls himself the “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda”. With his detailed knowledge of regulations to destroy, and clean energy approaches to dismantle, he will be far more destructive than Myron Ebell ever could have been.
What must his life be going to be like when he becomes head of the Environmental Protection Agency? It is one thing for him to be paid by the fossil fuel moguls to attack clean energy regulations, sowing doubt about climate change, and just arguing about it, as a legal exercise. It is another thing to be the head of the federal agency which is dedicated to clean air and water, and as well to slowing climate warming via CO2 from fossil fuel energy. We will see that the director’s actions in eliminating regulations will violate the goals of even clean air and water, which Donald Trump committed himself to.
Let’s start with Donald Trump’s promise to clean the air. Coal burning leads to smog, acid rain, particulates, volatile organics, and causes eye burning and asthma attacks. The Clean Air Act, by the way, was passed by Richard Nixon. Now to clean the water. Coal plants make giant ash deposits that can pollute water below the deposits. The act of modern coal mining is to flatten hilltops covering coal, and just scrape up the coal with giant scoops and transporting trucks. Rain washes the debris of this down into the river valleys. The process of petroleum fracking uses injected water to pump out the oil. Then the water is removed and pumped into high pressure wells. During this process, the small company nature of the industry does not lead to responsible control to prevent contamination. The fossil fuel controlled states where fracking occurs do not enforce any rules against contamination. It can only be done on a federal scale with larger, responsible companies.
In some locations, like Oklahoma, the injected high pressure wells cause earthquakes. Oddly enough, climate science denier Sen. James Inhofe is sitting on top of the quakes. Oklahoma’s richest oil and fracking mogul, Harold Hamm, is Trump’s energy advisor, and a candidate for head of the Department of Energy (DOE).
Now to turn to the EPA’s Supreme Court approved role in lowering CO2 emissions which cause global warming. The CO2 and warming will alter climates and cause droughts, floods, wild fires, sea level rise, ocean acidification, spread tropical diseases, and etc. Half of EPA’s employees have scientific training, and undoubtedly not only accept the science of climate change, but devote part of their careers to lowering its causes.
How is Director Pruitt even going to go to lunch with these scientists, who would daily lecture him on his uninformed misconceptions. First he argues that climate change does not exist, or is not man made, and then asserts that a warming world is better for us. Obviously he can only eat with his 300 fellow political appointees, who mouth the same thing. Are scientists even going to remain in his bureau, or like government professionals, will they just labor on through good and ridiculous regimes.
What an embarrassment Mr. Pruitt will be to Donald Trump, as the earth ends its hottest year, 2016, and each time a climate disaster occurs during Trump’s administration.