The radical Greens successfully mounted enough scurrilous rumors and stories to convince EPA reformer Scott Pruitt to resign.
Pruitt threatened the cult of the hard Green-Left and the profits of corporations raking in cash from federal subsidies and mandates. He threatened too much dogma and profiteering to be allowed to serve.
As The Wall Street Journal explained in an editorial:
The shame is that Mr. Trump is losing his bravest deregulator. Mr. Pruitt started to roll back the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan that attempted to re-engineer the economy with little effect on climate change. He clamped down on the “sue and settle” racket that allows environmental groups to impose policy through consent degrees. He moved to redefine the Waters of the United States rule that let EPA regulate ponds and potholes. Mr. Pruitt also sought to require more honest cost-benefit analysis, and he updated advisory science boards that have been stacked with members who receive EPA grants.
Those hunting Pruitt were unable to touch him on the substance of his reforms.
- When Obama’s EPA labeled CO2 (the gas you just exhaled) a pollutant, was it following legislative intent? No.
- Should EPA disregard cost-benefit analysis in drafting regulations? No.
- Should EPA advisory boards be the exclusive domains of Green campaigners and rent-seekers? No.
- Should EPA determine your fate while keeping the science it relied on secret? No.
- Are puddles on farms and backyards “navigable waters” of the United States? Of course not.
When Pruitt set out to reform these and other instances of EPA overreach he placed a target on his back. Those seeking to take him down resorted to scurrilous tactics. They magnified and exaggerated every detail of Pruitt’s existence and EPA’s operations and fed them into a media campaign. “Look at all the controversy!” They proclaimed.
In the end they attacked the man for trying to make an affordable move to Washington, the targeted public figure for securing his safety, and the agency head for the day-to-day complexities of managing an agency that were perfectly acceptable under Obama’s appointees.
We posted a hard-hitting article on the campaign to take down Pruitt by Michael Bastasch at CFACT.org.
EPA is an agency long out of control. As Ronald Reagan warned us in his first inaugural address, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
It takes a special kind of courage to tackle that problem. Pruitt’s got it. We need others with it.
Will Scott Pruitt’s departure chill the determination of other Americans to take on the thankless task of government reform?
Let’s hope not.