Government & Politics

Pruitt Holds the Line Against the Left at the EPA

"Green" groups will no longer get away with surreptitious changes to climate-related rules.

Jordan Candler · Oct. 17, 2017

The EPA is getting a refreshing makeover after Gina McCarthy spent years directing the agency to enact unconstitutional power grabs and enforcing other forms of corruption. For example, the Clean Power Plan — a carbon-capture scheme that was developed under Barack Obama’s administration — was recently and mercifully flagged by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for elimination, saving the economy upwards of $73 billion annually.

Now it’s ecofascists’ turn to feel the direct influence of new management. Under McCarthy, “green” interest groups basically viewed the EPA as the go-to agency for changes to climate-related rules and regulations. Not anymore. As Reuters reports, Pruitt “issued a directive to his agency on Monday seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation.”

The report goes on to note, “The EPA under former President Barack Obama quietly settled lawsuits from environmental groups with little input from regulated entities, such as power plants, and state governments.” How’s that for the most transparent administration in history? But according to Pruitt, “The days of regulation through litigation are over. We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency.”

Reuters adds, “Daren Bakst, a research fellow in agricultural policy at the Heritage Foundation think tank, said sue and settle has led to ‘egregious antics’ that have ‘effectively handed over the setting of agency priorities to environmental pressure groups,’ and has led to rushed rulemaking by the agency.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) regurgitated this view: “The Environmental Protection Agency should not make regulations by settling lawsuits behind closed doors. Under the last administration, the EPA advanced its political agenda by abusing its authority and leaving states and Congress in the dark. The public deserves to know how its government is operating.”

There’s really no reason to oppose these changes — unless you’re an activist who can no longer deploy covert tactics to circumvent the Rule of Law. And, to no one’s surprise, green groups aren’t happy with Pruitt’s move. What became customary at Obama’s EPA should never have become so. But it did, no doubt because McCarthy agreed with these lawsuits. Obama’s EPA was not impartial, nor was it transparent or legally minded. Pruitt is doing a masterful job ensuring this injustice ends.

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