- Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, has plans to change to the organization.
- A bill to abolish the EPA, authored by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, is drawing co-sponsors from the GOP-controlled Congress.
- Public statements and leaked documents indicate Pruitt and the Trump administration’s aim to reduce authority, decrease staff, and halt efforts to fight greenhouse gas emissions.
WHY IT MATTERS
Each state is unique in terms of their environmental needs, and some could be better at regulating than others. Illinois, for example, generated half of its electricity through nuclear energy, which produces zero emissions. However, they were still subject to clean air rules under the EPA. With this example, giving states the power to regulate environmental policies would make sense. However, delegating this power to states could help some, but hinder others. Poorer states may have less funding, which means less resources available to protect the environment, and consequently, to protect the health of its constituents.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- The media blackout is still in effect for the EPA
- March 28, President Trump signed an “Energy Independence” executive order to undo various environmental protection policies, including Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
- Mixed reviews about the order: employees at the EPA are saying “moral is low”, while coal miners/execs are celebrating “breaking the restraints”.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
- Federal vs. State power—which is better in this context?
- How will the United States be affected if it cannot meet commitments to the Paris Climate agreement?