Temporary Triumph of Myth Over Truth at Pruitt’s EPA

Source: Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult

Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland worked at the EPA for 30 years. She calls the agency the “guiding light to make the ‘right thing’ happen for the greater good.” And it was, until Scott Pruitt took over. Betsy left her post at the EPA this week, and called out Pruitt and the Trump administration for their destructive agenda in a politely scathing letter.

“Today the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth,” Southerland says. She raises concerns over the administration’s aggressively anti-regulatory approach and the major budget cuts the EPA currently faces.

Southerland also laments the administration’s apparent disregard for the truth: “The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities.”

Source: CNBC

On Tuesday, the EPA’s integrity panel found that Administrator Scott Pruitt did not violate scientific integrity policy when he claimed carbon dioxide was not a “primary contributor” to warming on a CNBC segment in March.

However, according to Joe Romm at ThinkProgress, the agency used some selective reading of its own policy to let Pruitt off. “The panel was cherry-picking a quote from a section of its policy related to resolving internal disagreements,” Romm says, instead of using the policy for public communication. Pruitt represented his personal views as the agency’s stance, Romm goes on to claim, meaning he still violated EPA policy.

We’re not experts on EPA policy. But you know who is an expert? The woman who worked at the agency for 30 years. Also experts? Five former EPA administrators, all of whom have issues with Pruitt’s leadership.

So don’t take our word for it. Listen to the experts, and let truth triumph once more.


Bridgette Burkholder writes for I Heart Climate Scientists. You can follow her at @bridgette_ck.