Storm clouds are brewing over the EPA. These would not be your tiny thunderclouds. These would Biblical, ass-kicking, chariots-of-fire storm clouds.
To lead off, someone has leaked what purports to be the Trump administration’s plans for the agency. This is via Mike Allen’s new venture now that he’s parted company with Politico.
Super Swan got his hands on the Trump team’s “Agency Action” plan for the EPA. It’s a tightly-held document that fleshes out Trump’s campaign promises to gut the agency. It’s the handiwork of Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment. Trump appointed Ebell, a prominent opponent of climate change activists, to lead the EPA transition.
Our takeaway: Environmental Protection Agency is set for an absolute hammering under Trump.
—”Potential opportunities for budget reductions”: A category that includes $513 million in cuts to the “states and tribal assistance grants” … $193 million in savings from terminating climate programs … $109 million in savings from “environment programs and management.”
- Listed as initiatives to stop: “Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulations for new (NSPS) and existing (ESPS or the ‘Clean Power’ Plan) coal and natural gas power plants … [CAFE] Standards … Clean Water Section 404: Waters of the U.S. Rule (wetlands) … TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for Chesapeake Bay.
- “Key opportunities”: “Issue an executive order barring EPA from overruling federal/state regulatory/permit decisions unless in clear violation of established law.”
- Changing the way the EPA uses science: “Unless major reforms of the agency’s use of science and economics are achieved, EPA will be able to return to its bad old ways as soon as an establishment administration takes office.”
This is Armageddon for the EPA. The second bullet alone would do more for federalism and freedom than any president in my lifetime. The third item is not, as the tree-hugging left is portraying it, barring the EPA from using science. What it is is a direct assault on the bogus, nebulous pseudo-science that the EPA relies upon for most of its air and water regulations.
Trump is expected to act fairly quickly to get rid of the hilarious, were it not so pernicious, Obama Executive Order requiring the “social cost of carbon.”
They include the complete elimination of climate-change programs; a half-billion-dollars in funding cuts for EPA grants to state and local governments; an immediate halt to Clean Air Act regulations affecting new and existing power plants; an about-face on auto emissions standards; and a general defanging of EPA’s crucial ability to overrule federal and state regulations that pose environmental dangers.
Personnel is policy and not only is tried and true EPA nemesis Scott Pruitt nominated to take over the agency but the “beachhead team” leadership has a long track record of loathing EPA overreach:
The Trump administration’s political “beachhead team” taking over at the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration is led in part by two pro-development, pro-oil politicians from Washington, State Sen. Doug Ericksen and ex-Sen. Don Benton, E & E News reported Monday.
The report, confirmed by SeattlePI.com, indicates that Benton and Ericksen will be rewarded for outspoken support of Donald Trump in last year’s campaign.
The Republican candidate spoke to a Lynden crowd in Ericksen’s district last May and had fulsome praise for the lawmaker. Benton was later warm-up act for Trump at an August rally at Xfinity Arena in Everett.
The “beachhead teams” as noted by E & E News, are groups of campaign supporters and aides who temporarily move in on federal agencies, but may later be invited to stay on. The director of EPA’s Region X, headquartered in Seattle, is a major federal appointment in the region.
Holy moly, I think I need a cigarette. Or maybe a carton of cigarettes.