This Group Thinks Trump Hasn’t Done Enough to Unravel Environmental Rules

The Denver Post referenced Myron Ebell on the underlying weakness within the EPA owing to a personnel process. 

The activists gathered behind closed doors in a Houston hotel meeting room last week had long existed on the political fringe. They’d dismissed the science behind climate change, preached the virtues of fossil fuels and seethed about the Environmental Protection Agency’s power and reach.

But now, at the private meeting sponsored by a free-market think tank, The Heartland Institute, the activists were both giddy and grumpy. They agreed with so much of what the Trump administration had done to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations as well as the White House’s efforts to promote the oil and gas industry and halt federal action to combat climate change.

Heartland officials handed out a three-page “Energy Freedom Scorecard” that evaluated the extent to which Trump and his deputies had delivered on their top policy priorities. As much as they welcome the administration’s efforts, the scorecard made clear that they think the president could do more, much more.

The scorecard, obtained by The Washington Post, and the private discussion, which was recorded and shared by a participant, highlight the extent to which those on the right are pushing Cabinet members such as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to enact even more sweeping changes. And they show how conservatives are working to place key allies in top policy posts in the White House and elsewhere, including on boards that help guide federal policy.

“There are ways to get names in, and we’ve used every door and window and crack in the wall we can use,” David Schnare remarked per the recording. Schnare served on Trump’s beachhead team for the EPA but abruptly quit the agency this spring after clashing with Pruitt.

The scorecard lists several items as “done,” from rescinding Obama-era rules curbing carbon emissions from power plants and opting out of the Paris climate agreement to reducing “government funding of environmental advocacy groups” by limiting legal settlements and approving the Keystone XL pipeline as well as other oil pipelines. Nineteen other items fall into the “started” category, such as cutting “government funding of climate change research;” repealing “unnecessary restrictions and state bans on fracking;” and ending “conflict of interest on scientific review boards.”

…Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Myron Ebell, who headed the EPA’s transition team for the administration, described its “key failing” as a “totally dysfunctional personnel process.”

“We only got people nominated to the subordinate positions at EPA this summer,” Ebell said.

View the full article at The Denver Post