Top Environmental Protection Agency official resigns over direction of agency under Trump
The Hill reported a top Environmental Protection Agency official resigned last Tuesday in protest of the direction the EPA has taken under Trump.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland ended her 30-year run at the agency with a scathing exit letter in which she claimed that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.” She last worked as the director of science and technology in the Office of Water.
“The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities,” Southerland wrote, directly rejecting many of Trump’s claims.
Southerland said that since EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took over the agency, dozens of regulations designed to protect the environment had been repealed, and Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the agency would devastate its ability to enforce existing protections and create new ones.
She took aim in particular at Trump’s demand that two federal regulations be struck from the books for every new one added.
“It may take a few years and even an environmental disaster, but I am confident that Congress and the courts will eventually restore all the environmental protections repealed by this administration because the majority of the American people recognize that this protection of public health and safety is right and it is just,” Southerland wrote.
Ironically, last Wednesday, two months after abruptly delaying a key milestone to implement U.S. EPA’s 2015 ground-level ozone standard, agency Administrator Scott Pruitt just as suddenly reversed that decision—one day after getting sued by 15 states.
At issue is an October 1st deadline for states to begin meeting 2015 standards for ground-level ozone. Pruitt announced in June he would delay compliance by one year to give his agency more time to study the plan and avoid “interfering with local decisions or impeding economic growth.”
A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes-in moments private and public, funny and poignant-as he pursues the empowering notion that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.
Endangered Species Act