Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Our environment is doomed: $cott Pruitt favor$ donor$ over environmental safety
In 2005, Drew Edmondson, then Oklahoma Attorney General, sued several large poultry producers for damages to then scenic Illinois River caused by chicken manure pollution. The suit also sought to force the companies to change the way the poultry producers disposed of 300K tons a year of animal feces.
Thirty of the executives named in the lawsuit dumped money into Pruitt's campaign and, behold, he won! Instead of continuing the battle to clean up the waters, Pruitt ground the process to a halt, negotiating a "study" of the "appropriate levels of phosphorous" in the Illinois River.
Here is the committee's final report:
It has very little in practical solutions for cleaning up the river, other than recommending the river be cleaned up. Much of the report seems aimed at determining what different types of "nuisance algal taxa" are present, how levels of phosphorous affect their blooming, etc.
Pure science, but not applied science.
So, the committee has wasted several years and no doubt loads of money on this "study" and yet, little has been done for the Illinois river. In 2003, Edmondson brokered a contract with Arkansas poultry producers to reduce pollution from animal waste. Phosphorous levels have dropped in recent years. Pruitt allowed the contract to expire without seeking an extension, then dissolved the environmental group that brought the lawsuits against the poultry producers. Phosphorous levels remain above the state standard.
And once again, I must mention the number of suits Pruitt has brought against the EPA, proposing easing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions by fossel fuel-burning power plants. His track record is clear who he has in his best interests.
US District Court Judge Kimberley J. Mueller wrote in an opinion of a law suit brought against the EPA by Pruitt and others:
“The court concludes plaintiffs have not brought this action on behalf of their interest in the physical or economic well-being of their residents in general, but rather on behalf of a discrete group of egg farmers whose businesses will allegedly be impacted."
Let's hope intelligent minds like this are weighing in on Pruitt's confirmation hearings.