President Donald Trump backed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt amid a number of leftist attacks against the agency chief.
President Trump said on Monday, “Keep your head up, keep fighting. We have your back.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly also called Pruitt on Tuesday to reiterate his support for the head of the EPA.
Several of leftist reporters, pundits, and politicians came out recently to attack Pruitt and subsequently call for him to drop out.
Jahan Wilcox, an agency spokesman, retorted, “As EPA career ethics officials stated in a memo, Administrator Pruitt’s housing arrangement for both himself and family was not a gift and the lease was consistent with federal ethics regulations.”
Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta called for Pruitt to resign in an op-ed last week in the Washington Post.
Podesta wrote in his op-ed, “The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency has always been to protect human health and the environment. But since taking the helm just over a year ago, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made no secret that his personal mission is to do the opposite.”
The EPA contends that Podesta serves as the latest part of a campaign from the liberal environmental group the Sierra Club.
The Washington Post editorial board called for Pruitt to resign on Monday.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, a leftist environmental group, called for Pruitt to step aside last week, arguing that Pruitt a “threat to the environment and our health.”
Much of leftist’s vitriol for the EPA administrator arises from his rampant dismantling of Obama’s climate agenda. As two Washington Post reporters noted in a December article:
Along the way, Pruitt has begun to dismantle former president Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, halting the agency’s efforts to combat climate change and to shift the nation away from its reliance on fossil fuels.
Such aggressiveness on issues from coal waste to vehicle emissions has made Pruitt one of Trump’s most high-profile and consequential Cabinet members. It also has made him one of the most controversial.
Under Pruitt, the EPA unraveled a number of onerous Obama-era environmental regulations. EPA chief Pruitt announced on Monday that he will revise the agency’s Obama-era emissions and gas mileage standards for automobiles.Last October the EPA ended the agency’s “sue and settle” policy that would create “regulation through litigation.”
Pruitt called the practice “wrong and abusive.”Under previous administrations, particularly the Obama administration, special interest environmental groups such as the Sierra Club used lawsuits to force the EPA and other federal agencies to issue regulations that advance their climate change agenda.
The EPA announced last November that they will repeal the agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) climate change program, which would save $33 billion in compliance costs.
William Ruckelshaus, the EPA’s first administrator, admitted that Pruitt has moved quickly to dismantle the environmental regulatory apparatus established by the agency.
Ruckelshaus argued, “We’ve spent 40 years putting together an apparatus to protect public health and the environment from a lot of different pollutants. He’s pulling that whole apparatus down.”