The recent maneuvers of the EPA’s new chief to dismantle the nation’s environmental protections have made many states mad as hell. And they’re taking Scott Pruitt and the EPA to court.
Seventeen state attorneys general, along with attorneys for the District of Columbia and five major cities, have asked the Appeals Court of D.C. not to delay their ruling on The Clean Power Plan. They’re telling Pruitt his recent attempts to destroy environmental safety measures will be fought at every turn.
The Clean Power Plan requires CO2 emissions from power plants to be reduced by 32 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. Power plants are the nation’s single largest producer of greenhouse gases. The plan was finalized last August but several Republican-led states then filed suit against it. The suit has now gone to court, oral arguments have been heard and judges are in the process of deciding.
But on March 28, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the Clean Power Plan and directing the EPA to revise it. Pruitt, who was an attorney for one of the states filing suit against the plan prior to becoming head of the EPA, immediately filed a motion for the court to bag the whole lawsuit. Sort of a legal, “Never mind.”
That’s when attorneys general for the following states said, “Not so fast, big boy.” California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, and the cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boulder, South Miami, and Broward County, FL asked the court to continue their deliberations on the case.
In their motion filed to the court Wednesday, the attorneys general stated the court’s ruling would resolve disputes over the scope of the Clean Air Act, under which the Clean Power Plan is authorized, the enforcement of the plan, and to rule on revisions the EPA would be allowed to make to it.
But wait, there’s more!
On another front, Pruitt has decided not to ban a dangerous pesticide known to cause neurological problems in children.
Earthjustice, an environmental law organization, asked the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to order the EPA to ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide which is a dangerous health hazard, especially to children. Representing the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network, Earthjustice argued the agency is ignoring its own findings that the pesticide is dangerous.
While chlorpyrifos has been banned from home use for years, the agency had recently determined that its use in agriculture left residue of the pesticide on food crops and leeched into ground water, posing serious dangers.
Apparently, Pruitt doesn’t read the findings of his own agency. But if he does, he demonstrates a callous lack of concern for the health and safety of American citizens and the environment he is charged with protecting.
Rest assured, America is watching. And we’ll see Pruitt in court.