Politico

Former EPA Chief Writes Scathing Op-Ed About Scott Pruitt

"That is the opposite of science."

SCIENCE AF STAFF
3 OCT 2017
 

Last week, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, Christine Todd Whitman, published a scathing op-ed in the New York Times about the current direction of the EPA.

The majority of Whitman's criticism rests on the shoulders of the current agency chief, Scott Pruitt. In the article, Whitman worries that the very agency that is supposed to protect the environment and public health "may end up doing neither under Mr. Pruitt's direction".

 

Whitman cites the agency's recent attacks on the media and their decision to deliberately remove grants containing the term "climate change" as culminating reasons for speaking out.

As a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush, the former chief argues she "can hardly be written off as part of the liberal resistance to the new administration". Despite party affiliation, she believes that Pruitt's actions "pose real and lasting threats to the nation's land, air, water and public health".

From his "legally questionable" repeals of EPA regulations to his "deeply troubling" idea to pit blue teams against red times in a debate about climate change, Whitman holds nothing back.

She even goes so far as to give Pruitt a quick science lesson. Calling his debate the "opposite of science" and explaining,"True science follows the evidence."

"The critical tests of peer review and replication ensure that the consensus is sound," she continues.

"Government bases policy on those results. This applies to liberals and conservatives alike."

But the real zingers come at the end of her essay, where she condemns the Trump administration for their denial of the science in the harshest terms:

 

"The red-team idea is a waste of the government's time, energy and resources, and a slap in the face to fiscal responsibility and responsible governance. Sending scientists on a wild-goose chase so that Mr. Pruitt, Rick Perry…and President Trump can avoid acknowledging and acting on the reality of climate change is simply unjustifiable."

Instead, Whitman argues that time and energy should be spent "developing solutions that create good jobs, grow our economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change".

But those are just a few of the many ideas that are better than a national debate about climate change.