environment protection agency

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Trump just banned EPA employees from posting on social media

  • Trump has instituted a social media ban for employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the AP reported on Tuesday.
  • EPA employees are now banned from posting updates on social media or giving updates to the press.
  • News broke on Monday that the EPA is under orders from the Trump administration to freeze its grant programs, which include funding for education, water testing and air quality monitoring.
  • The Huffington Post reported on Monday that it’s unclear whether the freeze will be indefinite. Read more

follow @the-future-now

Since Trump signed a gag order on American scientists, various rogue science and environmental Twitter accounts have been popping up and need your love!

Rogue Nasa (@RogueNasa)

Alternative US Forest Service (@AltForestServ)

Alternative US National Park Service (@AltNatParkSer)

Alternative Environmental Protection Agency (@ActualEPAFacts)

Alternative CDC (@Alt_CDC)

Alternative HHS (@AtlHHS)

Alternative FDA (@alt_fda)

Alternative NIH (@Alt_NIH)

#Resist

Science, it’s worth remembering, doesn’t read your Tweets. It doesn’t care about the size of your Electoral College victory.
—  Jeffrey Kluger in Time Magazine, “Why Trump Will Lose His War on Science.” Read it here. 
washingtonpost.com
Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts
The move could affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.
By https://www.facebook.com/eilperin

Reposted:

You’ve got to be kidding me. Silent, no longer.

The EPA was just directed to freeze all grants. This means that grad students and researchers funded on EPA funds are now without funds. All ongoing studies are stopped. This happened in a moment with a memo, by executive action, with zero input or oversight. It could happen to any Federal institute, including the National Science Foundation, which funds research at universities around the country – including the health insurance and living stipends of many, many students.

Please, if you can safely raise your voice, raise it loudly. Call your congresspeople, call the White House, write op-eds and articles and blog posts. This is only Day 4. Please, stand up for science and the environment. This is the emergency we were all worried about.

(Share widely. I did not write this. It was copied and pasted from a scientist who wants to remain anonymous. The fear of retaliation is real.)

politico.com
Obama creates new national monuments in Utah, Nevada
By DARIUS DIXON

President Barack Obama created two new national monuments on Wednesday, setting aside 1.65 million acres in southeastern Utah and southern Nevada, a move sure to anger Republicans who have sought to curb the power the outgoing president has wielded to protect record amounts of sensitive and historic lands and waters.

Obama’s aggressive use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments has drawn scathing criticism from Republicans, who say the White House has abused the law to override local opposition and restrict development and usage of the lands. The new Bears Ears monument in Utah, in particular, has been at the center of those complaints, with local officials and conservative groups decrying pressure from conservationists and tribes on the White House to protect the site.

In creating the Bear’s Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, Obama said in a statement he was protecting desert landscapes that contain “some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes.”

Obama has used his power under the Antiquities Act to to protect more land than any previous president, from underwater canyons and mountains off Cape Cod to the vast Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean. With the nearly 2,600 square miles he added Wednesday, he’s added at least 757,578 square miles to the nation’s protected lands.

Read more here

Scott Pruitt, the EPA, and why Einstein Believed Imagination is More Important than Intelligence

Around the globe and for decades, nearly all scientists have concluded that climate change is real, created by humans, and that much of it is reversible through comprehensive and stringent regulation.

Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change endangers humans and all living creatures both right now and for future generations, the Republicans nominated a climate change denier as their candidate in 2016.

DJT not only denies climate change is real, but has tweeted (dear god, his fucking tweets) that China created this “hoax” to gain advantages against the U.S. in global trade. 

As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt openly denied climate change, took contributions from his friends in the fossil fuel industry, and then worked to overturn regulations applying to them. He stated repeatedly the EPA should be dismantled.

Today, despite, vociferous opposition from all but two Democratic Senators (Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, await your primary challengers), Scott Pruitt was confirmed as head of the EPA. Much respect to GOP Senator Susan Collins for putting science above party and for voting against Pruitt.

Assuming Pruitt follows through on dismantling the EPA–and right now the GOP has enough votes and clout to allow him to do just that–innocent persons and creatures will die as a result of Pruitt’s confirmation. 

Flat out, deaths that could have been prevented will in fact be hastened. 

Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. I can’t grasp how anyone who loves children or who purports to believe in God looks the other way here. 

And the destruction wrought by climate change is non-partisan, even if the GOP’s relationship to science is bizarrely partisan. Do they think their children will be magically protected somehow? That only liberal kids worldwide incur preventable childhood asthma, for instance? That only liberal kids get sick from contaminated drinking water? That only liberal kids die in extreme heat or in storms that could have been prevented?

It requires a certain kind of myopia to vote against one’s self-interest.

Einstein maintained imagination is more important than intelligence. 

Pruitt’s confirmation is another illustration of Einstein’s thesis. 

The GOP can’t imagine that climate change is real and that they just voted to imperil their own kids. 

So their failure of imagination will imperil all of us. 

No punchlines today.

Just redoubled efforts to ensure the GOP owns DJT, to take back seats in the midterms, to work toward DJT’s impeachment and, most importantly, to fight for the heath and safety of everyone’s kids worldwide. 

politico.com
Senate confirms Pruitt to run EPA

The Senate voted today to confirm Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt, who fought several major EPA rules as Oklahoma’s attorney general, has faced sharp opposition from agency employees and Democrats who unsuccessfully tried to delay the vote until he discloses thousands of emails from his time as AG. Pruitt is expected to be sworn in as EPA administrator later this afternoon.

youtube

#EPA Employees Speak Out Against Pruitt and Trump’s Anti-Science Agenda

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politico.com
McCain to skip Pruitt confirmation vote
By AUSTIN WRIGHT and ALEX GUILLÉN

Sen. John McCain is determined to get to an annual national security conference in Germany on time — even if it means skipping an important confirmation vote and having to book himself his own flight.

McCain had planned to depart with 11 other senators and four House members on a military plane in time for the Arizona Republican to take part in a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference on Friday evening.

But the military plane is being delayed to allow the senators to stick around for a vote Friday afternoon to confirm Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. That decision came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a plea for the senators to stay.

McCain said in an interview that he decided to jump on a different flight leaving Thursday night after learning the military plane’s departure would be delayed.

“I have been going to this conference for 40 years, and I told them months ago that I was going,” said McCain, who is leading the congressional delegation.

“I have a speech to give tomorrow at the conference that I was committed,” said McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Everybody else is going after the vote.”

Read more here

youtube

How The EPA Will Change Under Pruitt

npr.org
Senate Republicans Bypass Another Boycott By Democrats To Advance EPA Nominee
Democrats are limited in what they can do as a minority party to block Trump nominees. As they boycott hearings, Republicans suspend normal rules twice to clear the new president's Cabinet picks.

Excerpt:

The Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the second meeting in a row to confirm former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

Committee rules say that two members of the minority party must be present for a vote, but chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., suspended the rules so Pruitt’s nomination could pass the committee with only Republican votes, and he passed 11-0. Pruitt will still need to be confirmed by the full Senate, which appears likely.

Upon reconvening the committee, Barrasso said, “It is disappointing that they chose that course of action. We will not allow it to obstruct.”

npr.org
Scott Pruitt Confirmed To Lead Environmental Protection Agency
The Senate has confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the EPA's next administrator. Pruitt is a longtime critic of the agency.

Excerpt:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized.

The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.

The vote came after a failed Democratic attempt to delay the confirmation proceedings until after a new batch of documents from Pruitt’s state office are made public under court order. Those emails will be released beginning next week.

This is a full-fledged environmental emergency, and we have a person who’s not just a climate denier, but a professional climate denier. This is going to be a litmus test for every member of the Senate who claims not to be a denier.
—  Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, on Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt as EPA head. Learn more. 
Donald Trump has shown a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws. He hasn’t a clue about Republicans’ historic contributions to science-driven environmental policy.
—  William Ruckelshaus, who served as the EPA administrator under presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and William Reilly, who served under President George H. W. Bush, in a joint statement. Read more

The fallout from the ongoing review of California’s deeply flawed Underground Injection Control program continues as new documents reveal that state regulators are investigating more than 500 injection wells for potentially dumping oil industry wastewater into aquifers protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act as well as state law.