It was surprising to find one of the most cogent discussions of the current status of the federal decision-making process appearing in the Sports section of the Democrat-Herald on March 26.
I’m referring to “We’re not learning from our past” by Pat Wray. Pat characterizes the current administration as an “environment where knowledge is restricted and vilified.” Let’s look at the Environmental Protection Agency as an example of this mindset.
During a campaign debate in March 2016, Trump stated, referring to the EPA, that “we are going to get rid of it in almost every form… ."
Upon taking office, he was given a document titled “Policy and Supporting Positions” prepared by a Congressional Committee which listed all 8,358 positions within the federal agencies that he could fill with political appointees. Included were the top 184 positions within the EPA.
In order to facilitate “getting rid of” the EPA, Trump appointed Scott Pruitt as its director. In his capacity as Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt had initiated 14 lawsuits against the EPA and sought to argue against environmental considerations at every opportunity. Upon taking office, he worked long and hard to do away with the effectiveness of the EPA.
There is a separate agency, called the EPA Office of Inspector General, charged with insuring the EPA follows all existing rules and regulations. Unfortunately, this position is also filled with a political appointee.
As Pat said, this “powerful surge of ignorance” that now rules our Federal agencies will be hard to overcome.
Albany (March 27)