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Thread: In break with Trump, EPA pick says climate change isn't hoax

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    In break with Trump, EPA pick says climate change isn't hoax


    Trump's EPA pick says climate change isn't hoax, but cause is up for debate

    Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, will face his first confirmation hearing Wednesday. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

    Jennifer A. Dlouhy Bloomberg

    President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency outlined a vision for scaling back the office's reach, while pledging to support clean air and water and hold polluters responsible for violations when necessary.

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday that environmental protection can be accomplished in collaboration with states and Congress -- without undermining the economy.


    "We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you're pro-energy, you're anti-environment, and if you're pro-environment, you're anti-energy," Pruitt said in his confirmation hearing. "In this nation, we can grow our economy, harvest the resources God has blessed us with, while also being good stewards of the air, land and water."


    For roughly seven years as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt has been on the other end of the EPA's authority, chafing at -- and challenging -- agency regulations governing water, limiting pollution from power plants and slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Pruitt has become one of Trump's most controversial cabinet picks because he has dedicated much of his career to battling the very agency he has been tapped to lead.


    If confirmed, Pruitt will be able to rewrite or rescind scores of environmental regulations officially -- or simply ease off on their enforcement. Supporters, including panel chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, say he would rein in overzealous Obama-era rules and restore much-needed balance to environmental regulation, making good on Trump's promise to focus the EPA on its core mission of protecting the air and water.


    More national politics coverage

    Opponents take a starkly different view. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, has termed Pruitt's nomination "a full-fledged environmental emergency." Critics are using targeted advertising, a barrage of phone calls to Senate offices and even a singing sit-in to try and derail the nomination.
    "Pruitt is of special focus because of the complete mismatch between the nominee and the agency he would head," said David Goldston, government affairs director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    Environmental activists wearing hard hats and air masks lined the halls outside the hearing room Wednesday, with protesters occasionally shouting over proceedings: "Pruitt accepts money from oil companies!" "He's a conflict of interest!" "Let the public in!"


    Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the environment committee, outlined a clear test for Pruitt: Does he share a belief that humans have a "moral obligation" to serve as stewards of the planet?


    "We need to be convinced that you embrace it as well, not just with your words, but with your deeds," Carper told Pruitt.

    "Much of your record suggests otherwise."


    Early on, Pruitt sought to dispel questions about his view of climate change -- though his answer may have only provoked more queries about the degree to which he views the phenomenon as a threat.


    Here are the people who have been nominated for positions in President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet.


    "Science tells us the climate is changing and human activity in some manner impacts that change," Pruitt told the panel.

    "The ability to measure the precision, degree and extent of the impact and what to do about that are subject to continued debate and dialogue."


    Last year was the hottest on the record, the third consecutive record year, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration figures released on Wednesday. Scientists say they aren't debating what's causing the increase. "It is warming because we are not reducing the amounts of greenhouse gases by the amounts we need to," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


    Pruitt has gone to court to fight more than a dozen EPA actions, including President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, a regional haze regulation designed to protect the air around national parks and the agency's conclusion that climate change endangers public health and welfare. That endangerment finding undergirds Obama administration regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions.


    "All of these suits were brought to protect the state and local interests by overzealous and activist agencies" that "advanced a radical environmental agenda," said Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.


    Inhofe and his Republican colleague in the Senate, James Lankford, portrayed Pruitt as a fighter, willing to take on oil companies as well as overreaching regulations. Lankford recalled a lawsuit Pruitt filed against BP accusing the oil company of "double-dipping" by getting both insurance companies and taxpayers to pay for the costs of cleaning up leaks from underground storage tanks.


    Senate Democrats are scrutinizing Pruitt's ties to the oil and gas industry, including donations from the sector to his campaigns and associated political action committees. In 2014, the New York Times reported that after Devon Energy donated to Pruitt, he sent a letter drafted by the oil and gas producer to the EPA, with only limited changes.


    Pruitt was also criticized for his decision to close an environmental protection division in his Oklahoma office while establishing a new "federalism unit" with the mission of fighting Washington overreach.


    Democrats also plan to press Pruitt to explain how he would approach issues on which he has challenged the EPA's authority in the past. It's not unprecedented for an EPA administrator to have tangled with the same agency prior to leading it. For instance, Gina McCarthy, the current administrator, previously sued the EPA as a Massachusetts state official. However, Pruitt has been far more active, targeting a broader array of EPA rules.

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/ct-sco...118-story.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether the climate is gradually getting warmer--which it has, since the Ice Age ended, and very little of that was caused by Europeans. There is still a changing market for electrical appliances and energy production that the United States should take advantage of.

    We took advantage of a changing energy market after World War 2, when the rest of the world wanted the power trains and power plants that the US could produce, in heavy vehicles and diesel engines. This is why General Motors soared---not so much American demand, but also worldwide demand for their products. This changed the whole character of the upper Midwest---from a commodities based economy to an industrial one.

    Now the demand is for consumer electrical appliances. And because those are more efficient than a generation ago, there is more practicality to smaller scale electric production. We don't necessarily need big dams blocking rivers, and the middle east doesn't really need nuclear plants springing up, built by Russia and China. There are lots of places solar or wind power or micro hydro generation could become a cost effective alternative.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    MW
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    I consider myself a solid conservative Republican, however, there is separation between me and the majority of conservative Republicans on environmental issues. For example, the following excerpt makes complete sense to me.


    "It is warming because we are not reducing the amounts of greenhouse gases by the amounts we need to," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I'm a Republican and I totally believe in Global Warming and Climate Change. Trump has never said Global Warming and Climate Change were a hoax. He said the Chinese were running a hoax to convince stupid Americans to pay for their environmental problems. On that I think he is right. But we should never be surprised when the media and certain members of Congress can't understand or choose to ignore the distinctions.
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