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Author archive: Thomas Smith

October 18, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Pruitt helps continue anti-environmental Trump administration

Dear Editor, On October 11, the PBS program Frontline aired “War on the EPA,” an alarming documentary focusing on Trump appointee Scott Pruitt’s ties to the big oil and coal industries and how he has acted to further their interests as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The day before PBS ran this program, Pruitt had announced the repeal of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which nudged states toward curbing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants over the next two decades. In his brief tenure as EPA head, Pruitt has repealed or blocked many other common sense regulatory measures protecting public health, such as banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide shown to damage the brains of fetuses and infants.  Chlorpyrifos is manufactured by Dow, and Pruitt vetoed the ban after a private meeting with Dow’s CEO. In a Pulitzer Prize winning series, New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton has publicly exposed Pruitt’s beholdenness to polluters, unearthing emails from Devon Energy in Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma with wording Pruitt used verbatim in his protests against EPA rulings. A climate change denier, Pruitt has obstructed attempts to move our country away from dependence on dirty, polluting energy sources toward renewables.  As […]

September 27, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Hurricane impact causes deeper look at climate change

With deadly hurricanes slamming Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, tragic
earthquakes in Mexico and hundreds of western wildfires now lowering air
quality in our own region, it’s hard to know what more can be said to
convince skeptics that the earth really is in violent revolt against human
abuse of the environment.