Friday, February 03, 2017

I Remember…

…When I was little sitting on the banks of the Housatonic River with some friends watching the river change colors from the chemical plants upriver. We would see how many colors that we could pick out and name.

I remember driving up route 8 to Waterbury along the Naugatuck River and having all the windows up in the car on a summer day because of the stench of the river and seeing mounds of foam piled high at the rapids because of the chemical plants in Naugatuck.

I remember coming down the hill on the Wilbur Cross Parkway, Route 5, in Wethersfield and seeing the Travelers Tower disappearing in a smog of brown.

I remember sitting at traffic lights and seeing billowing blue smoke rising up from the cars.

That is all past.

Or is it?
George W. Bush's EPA Head Is 'Worried' About President Trump's Nominee
By Justin Worland
Jan 31, 2017

President Trump's first decisions on the environment and the appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency has left scientists at the agency "nervous" about their ability to fulfill their mission, former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman tells TIME.

Whitman, who served as President George W. Bush's first EPA administrator, spoke with TIME shortly after Pruitt's nomination and again this week before Wednesday's expect confirmation vote.

"He’s really someone who doesn’t believe in the mission of the agency," she says, noting the many times Pruitt has sued the EPA. "It puts him in the presumption of an adversarial position with the career staff, which is going to make it difficult to do anything."

Pruitt, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the oil and gas industry, earned notoriety leading a charge against President Obama's environmental regulations. He sued the agency 13 times in his capacity as Oklahoma's attorney general, most famously to halt the Clean Power Plan. The Senate is expected to confirm the nomination Wednesday despite strong opposition from Democrats in Congress.
Then there is this article in Inside Climate News,
Their criticisms go back to the beginning of Pruitt's tenure. Shortly after taking office in 2011, Pruitt dismantled the office's Environmental Protection Unit, established by his Democratic predecessor in 1996 to pursue violators of the state's environmental laws. The unit pursued dozens of cases against polluters, especially in the farming industry. In 1997, it helped establish the state's Environmental Crimes Task Force, which launched 142 investigations and 56 criminal prosecutions, according to the unit's former chief, Kelly Hunter Foster.
Since Trump announced his EPA pick earlier this month, news reports have underscored Pruitt's sustained attack on the agency he's been appointed to head and his apparent reluctance to enforce environmental regulation. As attorney general, Pruitt has pursued 14 lawsuits against the EPA, while receiving nearly $240,000 from the fossil fuel industry or associations that represent it. (ICN has documented Pruitt's deep ties to the industry, including its support for his political career.)
Pruitt, who assumed the attorney general's post in 2011, has failed to pursue a 2005 lawsuit filed by his predecessor against Tyson Foods and a dozen other poultry companies, accusing them of polluting the scenic Illinois River in the northeastern part of the state. The Environmental Working Group, after taking a dive into campaign finance records, revealed that executives and lawyers for those companies gave more than $40,000 to Pruitt's 2010 election campaign.
Now watch this eight minute Bill Moyer’s video…

I fear that we are going back to the sixties again. Where the rivers change colors and the sky is brown.

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