EPA's Pro-Pollution Pruitt Is Getting His Way

The plan to gut the EPA is well under way. The forward-looking budget legislation just disclosed would push back meeting the 2015 Clean Air Act standards for Ozone for 10 years. It also slashes the EPA workforce.

The bill also cuts the overall EPA budget by 6 percent.

One provision in the bill would allow states to delay meeting the 2015 Clean Air Act standards for ozone for 10 years. The EPA has estimated that meeting the 2015 ozone standard of 70 parts per billion would prevent more than 1,400 premature deaths annually. Parts of Arizona and California would be the hardest hit if the changes are delayed. Similar legislation was introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in February. 

“Ozone pollution causes smog, and smog kills people. This type of cynical policy rider has no place in a bill to fund the government,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This giveaway to polluters will come at the price of the health of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The funding bill also takes swipes at the EPA’s efforts to address climate change by preventing the agency from collecting information on greenhouse gas emissions, preventing it from addressing livestock emissions, and declaring wood-burning electrical facilities to be carbon neutral even though they are not.

“Sticking your head in the sand is not a solution to climate change. The oceans keep rising and the planet keeps warming,” said Hartl. “This bill attempts to codify an extreme, anti-environmental agenda that would make the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil and many other dirty polluters proud.”