Perfectly Safe KeystoneXL Pipeline Springs Another Leak

For at least the second time in a few months a foreign corporation-owned oil pipeline leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. The leak occurred mere days before neighboring Nebraska decides whether to issue a permit for the oil export pipeline’s construction across part of America’s agricultural heartland as well as a massive aquifer supplying water to millions of Americans and farmers.

A spokesman for South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Brian Walsh, said “this is the largest Keystone oil spill to date – in South Dakota.” In April of last year TransCanada “released” 16,800 gallons of oil that leaked from the “perfectly safe” Keystone Pipeline. Walsh said it only took two months to clean up “the majority of the spillage” from that leak; “the largest Keystone oil spill” to date at the time.

Mr. Walsh said that as of Thursday, a few hours after the leak was discovered, that there “were no initial reports of the oil spill affecting waterways, water systems, or wildlife. It is a below-ground pipeline but some oil has surfaced above ground to the grass. It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination.”

It is uncertain whether Nebraska will consider “groundwater contamination” in deciding if the pipeline can proceed through the state, but another Keystone pipeline leak within a few months will probably not influence Nebraska’s decision. The state is scheduled to announce this coming Monday about whether to permit the foreign corporation (TransCanada) to expand construction through Nebraska.

The foreign corporation that owns and operates the “perfectly safe” Keystone pipeline, TransCanada released the same kind of statement they did in April when Keystone leaked. “The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

It was particularly nice of the foreign corporation to assure the public that it was working with state and federal agencies when they should have worked diligently to make sure their leak-prone pipeline was secure. No doubt TransCanada is frantically “working” diligently on Nebraska state agencies and officials who will announce on Monday whether to allow their state to host a “perfectly safe” pipeline; something Greenpeace said should be an easy decision.

The environmental activist group said this “latest” spill “shows that another section of the pipeline in Nebraska should not be approved.” Rachel Rye Butler spoke for environmentalists and sane Americans saying:

The Nebraska Public Service Commission needs to take a close look at this spill. A permit approval allowing Canadian oil company TransCanada to build Keystone XL is a thumbs-up to likely spills in the future.”

Kelly Martin is the director of the Sierra Club campaign, “Beyond Dirty Fuels,” and reiterated what no small number of environmental groups have known is a fact of life about oil pipelines:

We’ve always said it’s not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when, and today TransCanada is making our case for us. This is not the first time TransCanada’s pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won’t be the last. There is no such thing as a safe tar sands pipeline, and the only way to protect Nebraska communities from more tar sand spills is to say no to Keystone XL.

Despite warnings of spills, and President Barack Obama’s rejection of TransCanada’s permit to build the pipeline, the fossil fuel industry running the government is not going to “say no to Keystone XL” even if Nebraska rejects the project. Republicans and Trump claim the pipeline is crucial to eliminating America’s dependency on foreign oil, but they know the foreign-owned pipeline is a transit medium for toxic oil-sands from Alberta Canada on a route through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska; where it will eventually “feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries.”

After refining and processing, much of it by Koch industries, that oil is already slated for export to China and Europe. None of that oil was ever intended to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil because it belongs to a foreign corporation, and the Koch brothers, who are going to profit by selling it to foreign nations.

It is noteworthy to mention that if America is so desperate to end its dependency on “foreign oil,” then why did congressional Republicans lift a 40-year ban on selling American oil on the foreign export market last year? As of February of this year, American oil exports to “foreign nations” were at record levels because America is flush with oil and the industry wants more profits.

In fact, in May of this year, Trump proposed selling off half of America’s emergency oil stockpile and the entire backup gasoline supply – to foreign nations. Trump’s head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, said at the time that it was “the responsible thing to do … especially when we have increased domestic production like we have today.”

Even an imbecile should demand to know why, if America is so damn dependent on foreign oil, is the Trump administration anxious to sell off half the emergency reserves and why is the oil industry selling record levels of American oil to foreign nations? And how in dog’s name is a foreign-owned pipeline carrying foreign oil across prime agriculture land and one of the nation’s “most used aquifers” en route to more foreign nations helping reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil?

The Keystone XL pipeline is for the sole benefit of a foreign corporation, the Koch brothers, and the oil export industry. Not only are Americans not going to see that oil except for when the pipeline leaks, in order to process tar sand through the pipeline it will take a significant amount of already processed oil to keep it moving on its way to the Gulf for refining and export to foreign nations. And besides endangering the Ogallala Aquifer and prime agricultural land, oil industry experts predict it will increase the cost of diesel fuel at the pump by about 25-cents per gallon for American consumers. Likely worse, though, is the existential cost to the planet of developing tar sands (bitumen) that leading climate scientists say means “game over for the environment.

There is no good reason for allowing a foreign corporation to construct a leak-prone tar sand pipeline across America’s “agricultural heartland” that endangers the environment, creates health risks, raises gas prices and decimates the climate. The only reason the pipeline is going forward, and it will go forward, is because the fossil fuel industry now holds comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress and own the rubber stamp in the Oval Office.

Study Shows Trump’s EPA Policies Will Kill Tens-of-Thousands Yearly

 

According to newly released research, Donald Trump is going to have the early deaths of tens-of-thousands of American citizens on his hands every year. It isn’t hyperbole or exaggeration, and the real atrocity is that those fatalities are preventable and were on the decline until Trump appointed a fossil fuel acolyte to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) right into the ground.

The new report published in The Lancet revealed that across the world pollution is responsible for one out of every six deaths; a tad over 9 million human beings in 2015. The research was produced by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health and reported that the largest contributor to “early death” was air pollution claiming about 6.5 million lives. Water pollution posed the “next greatest threat” and accounted for 1.8 million “early deaths” followed by workplace-related pollution that caused just under a million “early deaths.”

One of the study’s commissioners said that until the 2015 research, scientists were aware that part and parcel of the pollution issue were thousands of chemicals that people are exposed to in the air and water. “We just didn’t know enough about what chemicals are doing to people.” Now they do know and they know those chemicals were responsible for killing 9 million people globally in 2015.

America isn’t as bad off as some aspiring industrial nations, but that is changing because Trump is Hell-bent and duty-bound to the fossil fuel industry to decimate environmental regulations that are reducing the cause of “early American deaths” significantly. Americans may be more fortunate than some people, but still, a little over 5 percent of all deaths in America are the result of pollution; in 2015 that number was over 130,000 American citizens and was on the decline with an administration that cared about the lives of the American people. The environmental regulations under President Barack Obama were specifically executed to protect the health and welfare of the American people in conjunction with combating climate change.

As is always the case, in every country of every income level diseases caused by pollution were “most prevalent among minorities and the marginalized.” The director of the health, nutrition, and population global practice and the World Bank Group and one of the study’s commissioners, Dr. Olusoji Adevi said what some Americans already know and experience for themselves.

Pollution disproportionately impacts the poor and the vulnerable. Children face the highest risks. It is important to translate awareness into action at the local, national, and global levels.”

Prior to Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration, America was taking action at the national level and was leading the global effort to control the release of chemicals killing off human beings by the millions every year. Trump changed all that by exiting the Paris Climate Accord, ending the Clean Power Plan, and turning the EPA over to a fossil fuel employee intent on neutering the agency responsible for saving American lives from pollution.

It is noteworthy that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan was part of the Clean Air Act first introduced in 1963 and amended several times to better protect American citizens’ health and welfare. Two weeks ago Trump’s administration rolled back the Clean Power Plan’s emission regulations as part of their opening attack on the Clean Air Act.

Of course Trump and Republicans proffer a typical fossil fuel industry lie that environmental regulations are the death knell of economies, but research shows that is categorically false; Republicans know it has been false for decades.

The co-leader of the Lancet Commission, Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, pointed out that this particular study developed a completely separate analysis from an economic perspective to calculate the costs related to pollution. The researchers discovered something Republicans will deny despite reporting from economists assessing the economic impact of reducing pollution. Dr. Landrigan said:

Just look at the experience within our country showing a 70 percent decrease in pollution from 1970 to 2015 following passage of the Clean Air Act. In that same 45-year period, the GDP has increased by 250 percent.” Landrigan reiterated that the data contradicts conservative and fossil fuel advocates’ claims that environmental regulation stifles the economy.

Dr. Landrigan’s assertion was reinforced by the senior economist and director of the Center for Research and Policy in International Development at the RAND Corporation, Nicholas Burger. Mr. Burger was not involved in the study, but he agreed with the researchers’ results as well as their in-depth economic analysis; he said the numbers are right. He also contradicted Republican and fossil fuel industry supporters saying:

There’s pretty strong evidence that pollution control policy — pollution regulation — does not adversely affect growth as people often argue that it does or that we might tend to think that it does.” He added that other researchers believe pollution policy has not adversely harmed economic growth and in fact “enhanced growth.”

During the Clinton Administration environmental protections and regulations were strengthened and the economy grew significantly. Likewise, during the Obama Administration the economy grew phenomenally after a near economic collapse and Great Recession and several much-needed environmental regulations were enacted. Those regulations not only addressed climate change, they greatly reduced chemical-laden pollution from fossil fuel emissions and saved Americans’ lives.

Although this most recent report actually breaks down exactly what kind of pollution is leading to early deaths, and how many human beings are dying unnecessarily, the information has been well-known and publicized for a couple of decades, at least. That should inspire every administration, Republican or Democrat, to continue reducing pollution if for no other reason than to save American lives; it is precisely what was occurring during the Obama Administration. Trump has made it is personal raison d’être to undo every one of President Obama’s environmental protections out of spite, but more so out of his flagrant disregard for the lives of the American people; especially the young, marginalized and poor.

It is unclear how many additional tens-of-thousands of Americans will die an “early death” due to Trump’s anti-environment crusade, but it will be a significant number. For Trump and his fossil fuel cohorts, more Americans dying an early death, even if it is tens-of-thousands, is the price American people have to pay so the fossil fuel industry reaps greater profits.

Republican Austerity Responsible For Aborted Fetuses In Flint

If Republicans, the evangelical right, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and personhood movement were as concerned about birth and “the fetus” as they pretend to be, a new report should incite them to outright bloody war – against Republicans. In fact, the above mentioned groups should demand murder charges and the summary executions of every last Michigan Republican who had a hand in poisoning residents of Flint Michigan. But they will never say a word because it was Republicans and a couple of corporate behemoths who caused a drastic decline in fertility rates and aborted fetuses in untold numbers out of sheer greed and criminal coverups to protect a devout pro-life governor and his equally culpable pro-life Republican cohorts.

The scientific and medical community have known for decades that lead is an incredibly toxic mineral as well as that it severely damages fetuses and young children. In fact, in the 18th Century if a woman wanted to terminate a pregnancy, it was not uncommon for them to take lead pills if they were not concerned about their future fertility. Lead is also well known to decrease fertility in men. Where is the religious right’s outrage over their Party’s greed responsible for forcing unwanted abortions?

The report released just this week revealed that Flint saw far fewer pregnancies, and a drastically higher number of fetal deaths than the rest of the state during the time period Flint women and their unborn children were exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking, bathing and cooking water. The new research study reviewed health records from Flint and across the state in order to compare birth and fetal death data to similar data from 15 other large Michigan cities, including Detroit.

The study was conducted by assistant professors and health economists David Slusky of Kansas University and Daniel Grossman from West Virginia University that included examining vital statistics data for Flint and the rest of the state down “to the census-tract level.”

The damning results came from the time period after April 2014 when Republicans purposely switched the safe drinking water supply to the toxic Flint River to save money. That Republican fiscal austerity measure produced fertility rates that decreased by 12 percent among Flint women, and increased fetal death rates by 58 percent. It is noteworthy that Flint women had no choice in aborting their pregnancies; that decision was made for them by austerity-minded pro-life religious Republicans.

It is noteworthy that lead affects male fertility as well as causes irreversible damage to the developing brains and nervous systems of children and fetuses. It also leads to lower intelligence, serious behavioral problems and diminished life achievement; probably like the typical Republican voter. However, those Republican voters, like women, should have a choice in whether or not their lives are adversely affected by Republican economic policies.

To verify that the drop in the fertility rate was due to something other than parents putting off starting a family due to the Republicans’ Great Recession, the researchers went to extreme lengths to discover if the birth rate decline was due to Flint residents’ concern about lead in their drinking water. The researches examined Google data for searches from Flint residents on “lead” and “lead poisoning,” but they found no increases in such searches until September 2015 when it became public knowledge that Flint’s water was poisoned by Republican greed.

One of the study’s authors, David Slusky said:

During most of our time period, when the city and state officials were saying there was no problem, we didn’t see any evidence of knowledge about lead in the water. Either Flint residents were unable to conceive children, or women were having more miscarriages during this time.”

The researchers also noted the similarity of fetal death increases in Flint to those from research done by Edwards in Washington, D.C., after residents there were exposed to elevated lead levels in drinking water from 2000 to 2004. Mr. Slusky remarked that after comparing data from Edwards in Washington, D.C., the evidence if fairly clear that his research teams’ findings were more than similar.

Although the lifetime of damage is already done for affected Flint residents, the good news is that their water supply is now “allegedly” from a clean, lead-free source. The bad news is that a comprehensive investigation last year identified close to “2,000 additional water systems spanning all 50 states where testing has shown excessive levels of lead contamination over the past four years.” (author bold)

Those 2,000 poisoned water systems reported lead levels “exceeding Environmental Protection Agency standards collectively supply water to 6 million people, and 350 of those systems provide drinking water to schools or day cares.” Like the tragedy in Flint, “at least 180 of the water systems failed to notify consumers about the high lead levels as federal rules require.

All of this horrid news is being reported even as Trump and his anti-environment cabal are frantically “rolling back” clean water rules and regulations put in place specifically to prevent these atrocities. It is noteworthy too that the piece of work running the Environmental Protection Agency responsible for keeping Americans safe is a devout evangelical actively opposed to women’s reproductive choices because “the fetus” is sacrosanct.

Where is Scott Pruitt’s religious outrage over his party’s responsibility for the increase in fetal demise in Flint? And why isn’t the pro-life zealot raging about the untold miscarriages within the 2,000 cities with lead-tainted water supplies? Everyone understands that infants and young children permanently damaged by lead doesn’t bother Republicans or the religious right, but regardless that they love a fetus but hate a living child, they are still directly responsible for an untold number of unwanted abortions.

There are evangelical “pro-life” Republicans and their nasty religious right masters who have called for women who choose to terminate a pregnancy to face murder charges, or at least imprisoned for even “harming” a fetus in cases of a woman miscarrying even by accident. What happened in Flint was no accident any more than Michigan Governor Rick Snyder “accidentally” forgot to inform Flint residents they were drinking, bathing,  and cooking with lead-infused water. Snyder claims that human life begins at conception and considers himself a staunch pro-life advocate willing to embrace any means to protect “the fetus” and “the embryo,” and if that is the case he is a raging hypocrite.

Snyder is ultimately responsible for the lead-poisoning that increased “aborted fetuses” by 58 percent in Flint. And to make matters worse, Snyder knew his economic policies were causing the increase in miscarriages and still failed to alert the citizens that he was making the choice to terminate their pregnancies by not alerting women that they were drinking, bathing and cooking with lead-tainted water; all to save money for tax cuts for Snyder’s wealthy supporters.

Image: ABCNews

Trump Lawyers Claim Greenpeace Is Funding Terrorism and Drugs

There is hardly any doubt that the day after the November election, many special interests celebrated themselves into a drunken stupor at the thought of Republicans controlling the government. And likely, none were as thrilled as big oil that legitimately believed there was nothing whatsoever that would stand in their way of raping and pillaging the land and despoiling the environment. Trump certainly did his part for big oil by letting the Heritage Foundation appoint friends of the oil industry to cabinet level positions at the EPA and Energy Department to sweep away what they consider obstacles to unfettered profits.

Even though big oil assumed that its sycophants in Congress and the White House were all-powerful, their excitement only lasted six months into their newly-purchased administration. Because although they control Congress and the White House, they don’t control the Federal Judiciary.

Probably because Trump is such a monumental distraction, the media and much of the population ignored a fairly important federal court ruling in June that dealt a blow to the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). The 91-page ruling fundamentally said the Army Corps of Engineers failed miserably to properly vet the pipeline (DAPL) or study “the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice.” The court ruled the preparation was particularly deficient, so a judge ordered the “Corps” to prepare a new report on the pipeline’s risks and do it right this time.

Although the judge’s orders didn’t force ETP to abandon the pipeline or shut it down completely, Native Americans and environmental watchdogs celebrated a victory with far-reaching implications going forward. Prime among those implications is that from now on, corporations like ETP cannot just begin constructing extreme environmental hazards with impunity and without proper vetting. Portions of the pipeline already completed have already sprung leaks on at least two occasions, and it is not yet completed.

That court ruling was too much for the power-drunk owners of DAPL, so Donald Trump’s lawyers, on ETP’s behalf, filed a $300 million lawsuit against environmental activists  Greenpeace, Earth First, and other concerned environmentalists. According to a statement released by ETP, the environmental groups and Native American protestors:

Manufactured and disseminated materially false and misleading information about Energy Transfer and the Dakota Access Pipeline for the purpose of fraudulently inducing donations, interfering with pipeline construction activities, and damaging Energy Transfer’s critical business and financial relationships.”

In Trump’s lawyers’ 187-page complaint against environmental groups and Native Americans, ETP alleges that:

Putative non-profits and rogue eco-terrorist groups who employ patterns of criminal activity and campaigns of misinformation to target legitimate companies and industries with fabricated environmental claims and other purported misconduct”  caused the natural gas company to lose “billions of dollars.”

And just for good measure, Trump’s lawyers included some stunningly outrageous claims that the environmental groups were “funding terrorism and using donations to fund a lucrative drug trafficking scheme.” About the only thing Trump’s lawyers didn’t include in a long list of bovine excrement allegations was that Greenpeace, Earth First, and Native Americans were behind the terror attacks on 9/11, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The name of the law firm representing ETP may sound familiar to some Americans because it is the same firm representing Donald J. Trump in the “several congressional and special counsel investigations into Trump’s collusion with Russia” during, and after, the general election. Trump’s law firm, Kasowitz, Benson and Torres LLP are also responsible for a couple of other lawsuits against Greenpeace filed late last year for “defamation and threatening customers” of Resolute Forest Products. That “paper and pulp” company was exposed by Greenpeace for wantonly stripping giant swaths of land of its forests in Canada; Trump’s lawyers are suing Greenpeace for $7 million in that attempt to “silence the environmental watchdog.

As an aside, Resolute is also suing Greenpeace for another $300 million in America alleging that the environmental watchdog “indulged in a criminal scheme against Resolute.” The criminal scheme is Greenpeace publicizing a “critique of the company’s forestry practices using sound opinion based on reliable scientific evidence.” Like the ETP lawsuit, the allegations against environmental groups claiming terrorism, defamation, and organized criminal activity are substitute words for “constitutionally-protected free speech” about the danger of denuding the landscape and building leak-prone crude oil pipelines.

One of the attorney’s representing Greenpeace, Tom Wetterer, respond to the ETP filing and said:

Trump’s lawyers are apparently trying to market themselves as corporate mercenaries willing to abuse the legal system to silence legitimate advocacy work. This complaint repackages spurious allegations and legal claims made against Greenpeace by the Kasowitz firm on behalf of Resolute Forest Products in a lawsuit filed in 2016. It is yet another classic ‘Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation’ (SLAPP), not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies with Trump’s attorneys leading the way.

One can’t help but believe that Trump’s lawyers suing environmental watchdogs on the pipeline owners’ behalf is more than just a coincidence. It is noteworthy that within four days of being inaugurated, Trump overturned President Obama’s decision to halt DAPL’s construction and wait for a proper environmental impact report. Within a month of Trump’s executive order, Energy Transfer Partners officials began using “aggressive force” such as military assault vehicles, tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons against the unarmed water protectors. The “battlefield” tactics worked in pushing “water protectors” off the land effectively shutting down the Native American protests.

According to Jennie Neufeld writing for Alternet, not only are Trump’s personal lawyers “building ETP’s case against Greenpeace and Earth First, Trump has a vested interest in the pipeline’s completion after investing up to $1 million in the company according to disclosures related to the 2016 campaign.”

It is also no coincidence that the Trump Victory Fund was the recipient of a $100,000 “contribution” from ETP’s CEO Kelcy Warren. A contribution Trump remunerated with a “go-ahead” on DAPL and probably a note to his personal  lawyers to file a lawsuit labeling the pipeline’s protestors terrorists and drug schemers.

There is no doubt these lawsuits will be on the increase, and like Trump and his lawyers’ ETP lawsuit, there is a huge push to “brand the activists as terrorists.”  In fact, ETP hired TigerSwan, “a group founded by retired members of a U.S. military counterterrorism unit, Delta Force” to combat the legal protestors. And after a private document was leaked to the Intercept, it revealed that the former “counterterrorism” unit members compared the Native American demonstrators to “jihadists” and the entire protest movement “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component.”

Those so-called “jihadists” and “ideologically driven insurgents” are what normal people would label Americans concerned about their environment and are only exercising their constitutionally-protected right of free speech. But this is Trump’s America now and what was once normal is now terrorism.

Federal Appeals Court Orders Trump’s EPA to Do Its Job

There is no doubt that when Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, avowed environmental protection enemy, to run the EPA, he expected the fossil fuel acolyte to put an immediate end to regulations targeting big oil; likely because those regulations protect Americans’ air and water. Pruitt did as expected and suspended various EPA regulations and restrictions including an important provision of the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) regulating dangerous and toxic greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Late Monday a federal appeals court issued a ruling against Pruitt’s EPA and ordered it to start enforcing restrictions on dangerous methane gas emissions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit formally vacated the agency’s 90-day stay of the NSPS because that “key [methane rule] provision” is the law; and despite what Pruitt or the oil industry claims, the rule “is in effect.”

The Court said the “leak detection and repair provisions” of the NSPS law were supposed to take effect  and “begin delivering significant benefits” on June 3. But two days after the law went into effect, the court said “the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt unlawfully stayed these and other requirements of the rule retroactively from June 2 until August 31, 2017.” Pruitt did not have the authority to take that action and according to the court: “Pruitt and his industry allies have not offered any support for their proposition that complying with the law would cause significant hardship to the entities that had a year’s lead time to prepare.”

What the court did say, however, was that by ordering the stay of the rule, Pruitt’s EPA “is causing substantial additional methane, ozone-forming [volatile organic compounds], and hazardous air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde to be released into the air of communities near these wells.” It is telling that 9 of 11 judges on the appellate panel had to tell the agency tasked with protecting Americans from dangerous toxins and pollutants to do its job, protect Americans from dangerous toxins and pollutants, and stop helping the oil and gas industry pour more toxic material into the atmosphere. It is also noteworthy that a federal appeals court had to waste its time to tell the corrupt Trump administration that no matter what it believes, it still “must enforce federal environmental protection rules.”

An environmental advocacy group, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) issued a statement late Monday saying:

Administrator Pruitt tried to impose a 90-day suspension of the vital clean air standards without public input and without analysis of the public health or environmental consequences.

Pruitt actually intended on delaying implementation of the clean air and water rule for much longer than the 90 days it says the oil and gas industry needed to figure out how badly it would hurt profits. Pruitt proposed an additional two-year delay for implementation of the rule because the EPA needed extra time to discover what negative impacts it would have on the poor oil and gas industry. During that two-year delay, Pruitt said the oil and gas industry could just ignore the rule and continue poisoning the nation’s air and water.

To really get an idea of just how much contempt the Trump administration, and Pruitt specifically, have for the health and safety of the American people, the Environmental Defense Fund said Pruitt knew that any delay whatsoever would negatively impact Americans’ health.

The EDF noted that when the EPA announced it was delaying the rule’s implementation for two years, it acknowledged that it would make children in and around oil and gas drilling sites sick. But Pruitt argued “that more illness for only two years is acceptable” if it helps the oil and gas industry prosper.

It wasn’t acceptable to “people who showed up at EPA headquarters” early in July to protest the EPA’s intention to delay implementation of the “methane rule.”  But the new rule did more than just restrict methane emissions and it is noteworthy that it only affects new drilling operations or those under repair.

As the director of environment and health for “Physicians for Social Responsibility,” Barbara Gottlieb noted, sealing leaks and capturing methane at oil and gas wells would capture “all the toxic and hazardous air pollutants” inherent in oil and gas drilling operations;” not just methane. Ms. Gottlieb said that the implementing the rule would capture “volatile organic” compounds that “cause severe health issues for people” living near oil industry operations. “If you seal the leaks and capture the escaping gases, you get it all.

For Americans living in close proximity to oil and gas operations the Appeals court made the right decision they thought was the purview of the federal agency created and tasked with protecting Americans’ health and well-being. That concept of protecting the health of the people is an abomination to Trump’s anti-environmental protection crusader Scott Pruitt or he would not have put a halt to the EPA rule’s implementation.

It is astonishing that this is not the first time that the federal Judiciary has had to step in and order the federal government under Trump to enforce federal laws created to protect all Americans. What the court did not say in this instance was that Pruitt’s job as head of the EPA was not to protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry – the only reason he is running the EPA.

Despite Trump’s Denial, Sea Level Rise is Drastically Accelerating

While the rest of the civilized world is frantically taking steps to staunch the existential threat to humanity due to global climate change, America is ignoring one of its most devastating effects that pose a very serious threat to both of its expansive coastlines. It is noteworthy that just one of the primary reasons the rest of the civilized world despises Donald J. Trump is due to his unilateral exit from the Paris Climate Accord; an exit he predicates on the 12th century belief that science is of Satan the Devil.  It doesn’t matter how advanced or developing the rest of the world’s nations are, they understand firsthand how crucial a concerted global effort is to at least slow global warming to save the people;  not the planet. Earth will always repair man’s damage, it just may take a couple of centuries according to scientists.

There was some incredibly bad news for the Earth’s population, especially those living in close proximity to coastal areas, this week that was generally ignored due to the Earth-shattering importance of Donald Trump’s social media activity. Apparently, the American media is well aware that people are too stupid to comprehend something as simple as sea level rise, so they hew closely to bombastic clickbait stories that sell ad space – like Trump’s tweets.

According to a new study in Nature Climate Change, “global sea level rise jumped 50 percent” over the past  15 years; the most recent period that data are available. The study revealed that the alarming and unprecedented melting of Greenland ice sheets is one of the “major new contributors” to sea level rise. In the late 1990s it only accounted for less than 5 percent of sea level rise, but in 2014 it was responsible for well over a quarter of the increase.

If that isn’t bad enough news for the hundreds-of-millions of human beings living in coastal areas, scientists that have been monitoring an enormous iceberg nearly the size of Delaware reported this week it “is poised to detach from one of the largest floating ice shelves in Antarctica and float off into the sea.”

Scientists, including the atmospheric and oceanic professionals under attack by the Trump administration, used satellite measurements and tidal gauges to provide an accurate measure of the impending disaster for the Earth. And it is noteworthy to mention that no part of the Earth has seen the “particularly intense acceleration of sea level rise” more than the United States’ Eastern seaboard.

The study noted that this is particularly dangerous for Virginia and North Carolina where measurements revealed the sea is rising  in those areas “three times more quickly that the worldwide average.” The rise along the East Coast is not all down to melting ice sheets and icebergs though, although it does account for over a quarter of the damage.

Some other contributors are “sinking land masses due to an increase in ground water removal” as a result of severe drought conditions brought on by global climate change and water theft by the fossil fuel industry and big agriculture; both industries that support Republican opposition to battling climate change.

Not that stupid Americans would understand the complexities of ocean currents or how they contribute to weather patterns, climate change and increasingly severe weather events, oceanographers reported that the “water level is higher in those areas than elsewhere.” The scientists also noted that the additional freshwater pouring into the North Atlantic from that Greenland ice melt is “accelerating that dynamic” affecting America’s East Coast. It is worth noting that the East Coast, especially around Virginia and North Carolina, is home to a substantial Naval presence and major shipping ports spanning the entire Eastern seaboard.

A professor of oceanography at Old Dominion University who did not take part in the study or any part of the reporting, Larry Atkinson explained:

This new evidence of accelerating rates is concerning to us as we try to advise local cities and regions on what they’re going to have deal with.”

Although most Americans are ignorant of rudimentary physics, it is worth noting that the greatest factor driving the dangerous rise in sea level is “thermal expansion.” What thermal expansion means in simple terms is that matter at the molecular level changes shape, area, and volume in response to temperature change.   What that means for sea level rise is that as the oceans warm, the sea water takes up more space (expands).

According to “the Fifth Assessment Report” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that “thermal expansion” of sea water “accounts for up to 55 percent of the global sea level rise.” The melting glaciers and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica account for up to 35 percent of sea level rise and like expanding oceans, those rapid melting ice sheets are only due to “the Earth’s higher land and water temperatures resulting from anthropogenic climate change.

Regardless what dumb Don Trump says, global climate change is real and it is a result of man pouring greenhouse gases, like methane and carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Americans living in the proximity of coastal areas can rest assured that when they are forced to relocate due to rising seas that America is as responsible, if not more so, than other industrial nations, except maybe China. However, at least China is moving forward to combat climate change while America with a corrupt clown in the White House pretends it is a joke.

Image: TheInsider

 

Trump’s Tyranny To Fix Elections Faces Increasing Opposition

 

Some Americans may recall that after the horrific slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School when President Obama called for common sense gun safety measures,  Republicans were berserk with rage. One of the common cries was that if Americans registered their firearms, the federal government would have their personal information and “who knows what horrors” the federal government would inflict on the good folks and their guns. Suffice it to say that Republicans vehemently oppose the federal government having any more “reach” or information about the citizens and their personal affairs and private information.

Now it is a different story, and it is not because Republicans suddenly believe Americans’ guns should be registered. It is because there is an authoritarian megalomaniac in the White House and an anti-democracy cabal ensconced deep within the Republican Party and racist conservative movement.

Because white trash Trump cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by substantial numbers, he convened a special election commission to ferret out the non-existent massive voter fraud he claims cost him the people’s overwhelming support. Trump’s stated reason for a special commission on election integrity is allegedly “to promote fair and honest federal elections.” Pay no mind that Trump’s Russian masters succeeded at denying Americans a “fair and honest federal election” in 2016; he won.

Trump tapped Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) as his vote-suppression enforcer. Kobach is renowned for lying and claiming massive voter fraud exists going back to 2008, but he has yet to find any in Kansas. So he is going national as a ruse to compile the voting records and personal data from every registered voter in all 50 states for the Trump administration to use in the next election.

One can only imagine what the corrupt and criminal Trump intends to do with voting and personal data of over 230 million eligible American voters. It is noteworthy that Kobach and Trump have both made universally-debunked claims that large numbers of undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Kobach is so enthusiastic to burrow into nearly a quarter-of-a-billion Americans’ personal and private business that he sent out a letter to all 50 states “requesting voters’ names, addresses, their birthdays, party affiliation, military status, felony convictions, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and their voting history dating back ten years, to 2006.” This federal intrusion into states’ business, and Americans’ private lives, is the result of a Trump executive order.

It is noteworthy that no Republican has screamed out “tyranny or executive overreach” into Americans’ private lives and it would be curious if Republicans were not accomplished hypocrites. During President Obama’s 8-year tenure, a common Republican complaint was that his executive orders were criminal and that asking Congress to “consider” legislation requiring firearm registration was patently unconstitutional, tantamount to fascism, and a tyrannical federal governments’ intrusion into gun owners’ private lives and information.

If Kobach and Trump want a comprehensive study of voting fraud in “federal elections,” they could save the nation and all 50 states a fair amount of money if they were serious about their bovine excrement “voter fraud” claims. There is a well-documented and impressive study of all 1.1 billion votes cast in every federal, state, and municipal election for every political office dating back to the 2000 presidential election. That exhaustive study found that there were exactly 31 “credible cases” of voting anomalies across the nation over a 14 year period.

As of yesterday, Friday, there were 24 states that told the Trump they were not, in fact, handing over sensitive voter information to the federal government; especially with an anti-democracy administration with a tyrant in the White House.

For example, Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe (D) issued a statement saying that he had “no intention” of fulfilling Trump’s demand. Mr. McCauliffe defended Virginia’s “voting fairness” and election integrity, and he rightly said Trump’s commission is “based on the false notion of widespread voter fraud in the last election.” He also stated the obvious that there is likely an ulterior motive to Trump’s election integrity commission.

At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.

California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla (D), also responded to Kobach saying:

I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians ‘voted illegally’ in the last election.

California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, Vice President, and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach.”

Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), said that she does not intend to acquiesce to Trump and Kobach’s “request” for a massive release of voters’ personal data. She said:

The president created his election commission based on the false notion that ‘voter fraud’ is a widespread issue — it is not. I do not intend to release Kentuckians’ sensitive personal data to the federal government.” 

Mississippi’s Republican Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, was a tad more abrupt in relating that, like a growing number of state election officials, he definitely will not be turning over any sensitive personal information whatsoever to the panel. Mr. Hoseman promptly told the members of Trump’s “voter fraud commission” to “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor, Tom Wolf, said he was joining the other state officials and that: “We will not participate in this systematic effort to suppress the vote.”

To demonstrate how intrusive the Trump’s commission if behaving, even a member of the commission said her state was not going to comply. The president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Connie Lawson (R) said:

Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach. Under Indiana public records laws, certain voter info is available to the public, the media and any other person who requested the information for non-commercial purposes. The information publicly available is name, address and congressional district assignment.”

Nellie Gorbea (D) is Rhode Island’s Secretary of State and she was pointed in her criticism of the commission and particularly Kobach as chief vote suppressor. She said Kobach was wholly “unfit to lead the commission, given his record of strict voting laws as well as a ‘recent court fine for failing to produce documents related to a lawsuit over voting laws.’ It is deeply troubling that he has been given oversight of this commission by the president.”

Kobach has been a staunch ALEC-Heritage Foundation advocate for enacting strict voter suppression laws he says are necessary to combat the “massive voter” fraud he has been unable to find. Democracy advocates rightly charge that the voting laws ALEC and Heritage demand are specifically devised “to hinder access to the polls primarily for elderly and minority voters.”

Many officials have questions about “the commission’s discretion obtaining the confidential documents.”  Those “questions” are code for they don’t trust the Trump administration whatsoever. One official spoke for the state of Wisconsin and said:

State statutes permit the [Wisconsin commission] to share confidential information in limited circumstances with law enforcement agencies or agencies of other states. The Presidential Commission does not qualify under either of these categories.

There is no doubt that this so-called “commission” is not about rooting out and preventing the nearly non-existent vote fraud Trump claims cost him the popular vote victory. The statistics showing there is no such thing as even minor vote fraud are readily available to anyone, and Trump’s and Republicans’ claim that there is any voter fraud has been widely debunked for a decade.

Look, Trump is corrupt, and criminally-corrupt to boot; so there is every expectation his real reason for wanting the private data and voting information for 230 million Americans has nothing to do with “election integrity” and everything to do with voter suppression and intimidation – exactly what one expects from an authoritarian regime.

Trump Imperils a Third of the Population’s Clean Drinking Water

By now only someone in a coma is unaware that Republicans will go to great lengths to sate the greed of the fossil fuel industry no matter how detrimental their actions are to human life. As most Americans learned by the sixth grade, the primary component in a human body is water; anywhere from 60 to 75 percent depending on a person’s age. That being the case, it is safe to assume most people comprehend that access to clean drinking water is more than a basic human right, it is fundamental to life. Obviously, not everyone agrees with fundamental biology or has any regard for human life; that is particularly true of America’s “pro-life” Republicans.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly “Explicitly recognized the fundamental human right to safe water and sanitation, and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.”

Republicans, led by the Koch brothers and Donald Trump, completely disagree with the U.N. General Assembly and are continuing the fossil fuel attack on Americans’ “fundamental human right” to clean water; an attack they began early in the new legislative year with a new heartless White House occupant. However, that “first strike” attack only affected areas in and around coal mining regions, so the Trump is expanding the attack on clean drinking water to affect a greater number of Americans; a little over one-in-three Americans.

In early February, Trump signed a law allowing the fossil fuel (primarily coal) industry to dump toxic waste and chemicals into Americans’ clean water supplies. This is in spite of Trump’s campaign pledge to his supporters that “Americans need crystal clear and clean drinking water.” As Jenifer Collins of Earthjustice said at the time:

It is shameful that one of the first bills President Trump signs into law is an attack on clean water protections for communities facing the harmful health and environmental impacts of coal mining operations like mountaintop removal mining. The President said Americans need ‘crystal clear and clean water.’ If he really meant that, he would have vetoed this legislation.”

Of course Trump didn’t mean it – he is a pathological liar. And he will say “I never promised to protect Americans’ crystal clear and clean drinking water, I just said they need it.” Apparently the Koch brothers’ fossil fuel industry needs the authority to pour toxic waste into “crystal clear and clean drinking water” without legal repercussions or punitive damages that Trump and Republicans were happy to provide.

Another advocate for Americans’ access to clean drinking water, Natalie Thompson, representing the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition said:

Voting to overturn the Stream Protection Rule in its entirety with no consideration for the health of our citizens and our ecosystems is completely irresponsible. The people in these coal communities will pay the price by being forced to purchase potable water that they cannot afford or by combating cancer, birth defects, and other invasions of human health by way of toxic water.”

As an aside for Ms. Thompson to ponder; If those people in those coal communities are unable to afford purchasing potable water, they aren’t going to be able to purchase healthcare insurance to battle cancer, birth defects or other human health issues. And, if they are that economically disadvantaged they will just have to die along with any Medicaid or Medicare coverage Trump and Republicans are eliminating to “sate the greed of the rich.”

Now, Trump and his fossil fuel industry EPA director, Scott Pruitt, are readying a vicious attack on the rest of the nation’s “crystal clear and clean water” that will affect a little over a third of the population’s “fundamental human right” to clean water.

Trump’s barbaric administration officially began repealing the “Clean Water Rule” late last week with a solemn pledge to completely “rescind and rewrite the regulation.” Trump’s fossil fuel employee Scott Pruitt will task industry lobbyists to “rewrite the regulation” to conform to the February law allowing the fossil fuel producers, manufacturers, and agribusiness  to legally dump toxic waste into about two million miles of rivers and streams and 20 million acres of wetlands.

To get an idea of how dastardly this Trump cabal really is, the “official repeal proposal” appeared on the same day EPA Administrator and ardent “pro-life” evangelical Scott Pruitt testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee that with a fossil fuel advocate like him at the helm, “the EPA would focus on its core mission of ‘protecting clean air and water’ for the American people.”

Pruitt said in a press statement:

We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses. This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine ‘waters of the U.S.’ and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public.”

Republicans, and particularly the Koch brothers’ fossil fuel cohort, complained bitterly in 2015 when President Obama tasked the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers with following an order from the United States Supreme Court to designate “waters of the U.S” that required protection from toxic dumping; solely because they provide “crystal clear and clean drinking water” to over a third of the population.

In February, at about the same time he signed a law authorizing the fossil fuel industry to dump toxic waste into rivers and streams that provide clean water, Trump issued an executive order directing the EPA to “review and reconsider” the Clean Water Rule it previously devised in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. Trump specifically ordered the EPA to give “special attention and consideration” to how the agency defined “navigable waters.” One can only imagine that “navigable waters” will be reserved for the oceans in and around the United States so the fossil fuel, manufacturing, chemical, and agricultural industry can dump toxic waste into the clean waters anywhere within the continental United States.

There really isn’t much to say about the party in power, or its corrupt leader, that is printable for polite company, but that it takes a special kind of evil to pass laws, issue executive orders and rescind protections just to “sate the greed of the fossil fuel industry.” It was beyond comprehension that Congress and Trump would enact a law allowing the fossil fuel industry to dump toxic waste in and around mining and oil operations, but endangering a third of the population’s “crystal clear and clean water” is beyond comprehension. Sadly, there is nothing whatsoever anyone can do to stop this vicious attack on a “fundamental human right,” but there are environmental groups pledging to continue the fight for “human rights.” The executive director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune said in a statement:

“It goes without saying that the Trump administration doesn’t care about the environment, public health, or its duty to protect our most precious natural resources — and that is why it’s up to us, the American people, to hold them accountable. We will fight this and every other attempt by polluters and the Trump administration to destroy our water resources.”

The Trump administration is out to destroy, or steal, all of America’s resources for his and Republicans’ masters the Koch brothers, and the people can attempt to fight, and resist, their efforts, but they are impotent. That’s what happens when stupid Americans install a government committed to the general welfare of the rich, corporations and fossil fuel industry instead of the American people. First they came for your healthcare, then your schools, then your freedoms and now they’re coming for your most fundamental human right; “crystal clear and clean water.”

Rick Perry Proves He’s Stupider Than a Seventh Grader

It is too bad that there are a significant number of Americans who are stupider than dirt and lack an amoeba’s cognitive ability, or worse wasted taxpayer’s money during their primary school education. One thing every seventh grade student learned in science class is that carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse gas” responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere; a fundamental fact only a complete idiot would dispute or contradict. Enter a complete idiot the moron in the Oval Office tapped to lead the Energy Department, former Texas governor Rick Perry, who disputed and contradicted a well-established and scientifically measured fact on national television.

Perry, as U.S. Secretary of Energy, was appearing on CNBC News recently and not only displayed less intelligence than a single-called zygote, he “made bizarre statements disputing the underlying foundations of physics and chemistry;” and the fundamentals of climate science. Perry may not be the stupidest of the Trump cabal, but he did his level best to claim that humiliating distinction. Perry was given an easy question any seventh grade student could have answered correctly and promptly revealed why he has no right being in government much less running the Energy Department.

The interviewer asked Perry whether carbon dioxide is primarily responsible for climate change to which he confidently replied:

No. Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”

That response must be a standard line for the oil industry whores in the Trump administration because it is precisely what the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, says often; recently on national television like Perry.

Now, it doesn’t matter whether or not Pruitt, Perry or Trump’s entire idiotic administration disputes the reality of climate change; any greenhouse gas is classified as such for a very good and scientifically proven reason; they trap heat in the atmosphere and trapped heat warms the climate. And, carbon dioxide traps heat very effectively and as noted in IFLScience; “carbon dioxide has a lifetime in the atmosphere of up to 200 years and is unequivocally the primary driver of climate change.”

To address Perry’s remark about the oceans, it is true the world’s oceans are “carbon sinks” and have absorbed so much carbon dioxide that they stopped the Earth’s warming over the past century significantly. But their ability to absorb carbon dioxide is dependent on “not dead” marine life, and cannot physically or possibly absorb all the CO2 being released into the atmosphere; particularly the CO2 from burning fossil fuels. No matter what Perry says, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that man is pouring into the atmosphere and trapping heat, warming the oceans, and creating climate change that drives the severe weather events wreaking havoc on the Earth’s population.

This remark by Perry and Pruitt, a couple of bible-thumpers who believe fairy tales, is beyond reprehensible. Still, because Americans put an idiot moron in the White House, an idiot moron is running the Department of Energy; a position he is as unqualified for as Pruitt is to run the EPA. Remember, Perry at one time wanted to abolish the DoE and had no idea what the Cabinet level job entailed until after he was confirmed.

Perry is also a piece of work for changing his tune on climate action after being appointed to run the DoE. Prior to landing the gig at the DoE, Perry actually hoped, out loud no less, that Trump wouldn’t exit the Paris Climate Agreement. Now Perry has shut down the DoE’s climate change office and became a staunch “evangelist for climate denial.” He also banned any mention of the terms “climate change” and “Paris Agreement” under any circumstances at the Energy Department and rumors are that if Perry should happen to overhear either phrase uttered, he “will have a visceral reaction.

It is apparent that the Trump administration has issued orders to propagandize the American people into believing that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas and has no impact on hastening the warming climate. It is the only explanation why Rick Perry would make such an easily debunked claim on “live national television.” As Robin Andrews noted at IFLScience, Rick Perry may not be as idiotic as the Pennsylvania state senator who claimedhuman body heat” is driving climate change,  but he is very close. Sadly for America, the population is just stupid enough that if the Trump team continues saying something loud and often enough, it doesn’t matter how absurd the claims, people will believe it – unless they successfully completed the seventh grade.

 

Scott Pruitt Eliminates Scientific Integrity At the EPA

Any American with the slightest knowledge of history is likely aware that without science, the world’s population would still be living in literal dark ages. The primary reason there was an honest-to-dog Dark Age was the result of the Catholic Church’s unrelenting and vicious attack on science and its practitioners the church portrayed as agents of Satan the Devil.

Now that it’s the 21st Century and America has been the world’s leader in scientific research leading to astonishing technological development for at least a century, this nation is devolving into a dark time. In fact, America under an anti-science demigod is on a path to return to the 1600s when Galileo Galilei was imprisoned by the Catholic Church for embracing science and rejecting the Church’s anti-science orthodoxy.

Under the new evangelical-driven Trump administration, America is ruled by an anti-science “church” owned and operated by the oil industry. The administration is also staffed with evangelical fanatics intent on crushing what they consider heretics for embracing science and empirical data and rejecting oil industry tenets that’s driving the purge of scientist from the government.

This week, the Jesus-freak Trump appointed to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, leveled yet another Trump attack on the “integrity of the science” used by the government. It is tantamount to the 17th Century Catholic Church’s barbaric assault on science it regarded as “of the Devil.

The latest assault on science was the announcement that the EPA dismissed “nearly” all the members of its Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC). The “board” is responsible for reviewing and advising the EPA’s internal research departments on how best to use scientific methodology to make accurate reports founded on real empirical data.  Trump’s EPA intends to use “fake facts” provided by the oil industry coupled with biblical mythos embraced by conservatives convinced that scientific research and scientists are of the Devil.

The BOSC was already grossly understaffed, and besides dismissing the few “board members” still on the job, by August the “Board” will be “scientifically decommissioned” for all intents and purposes. Last week the acting head of the EPA office of Research and Development, Robert Kaylock, issued an email saying “that [the remaining] board members whose three-year appointments expire next month will not be renewed.” There may be a BOSC left in place, but it will not be staffed by scientists when there are plenty of oil industry sycophants at the ready to “transform” the EPA to help the Koch brothers.

Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt doesn’t need legitimate scientists at the EPA because he is a renowned oil industry climate denier with an aversion to empirical data and science, like his boss dumb Donnie Trump. Pruitt believes that the only people the EPA need directing scientific methodology and research are “the right kind of people who know how badly EPA regulations are for  the regulated community.” That is oil-whore code for putting the oil industry in control of the EPA’s scientific research; not unlike Trump putting an oil industry slut in charge of the EPA.

The only reason Pruitt and Trump will not completely eliminate all “scientific research” from the EPA is because they can use “oil industry” propaganda disguised as “scientific research and science” as justification to eliminate environmental regulations according to the Koch doctrine. The maneuver is not unlike Trump putting a pharmaceutical industry employee in charge of  the Federal Drug Administration, or Wall Street bankruptcy liquidation experts in charge of the Treasury and Commerce Departments.

The Trump administration attack on science is government wide and not just targeting the EPA.  Besides putting more American lives at risk on myriad levels, it is allowing the rest of the world to advance technologically while America devolves into the dark age. The days of American ingenuity and devotion to scientific research and technological development took a death blow with Trump’s ascension into the Oval Office, and his appointment of anti-science fanatics government wide portend a bad end for America.

At the pace that the rest of the world is investing in scientific research and advancing technologically, not only is America not a world leader any longer, it is on the verge of becoming insignificant. And without scientific research at the EPA, it is going to become environmentally dirty and hazardous to Americans’ health.