Trumps EPA administrator is touting Superfund cleanup projects that happened under the previous administration, even as he is dismantling the agency.
Donald Trumps administration wants you to know that, far from being gutted, the Environmental Protection Agency is actually more effective than ever.
As proof, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt points to seven Superfund toxic waste sites that have been successfully cleaned up and delisted in the first year of Trumps administration.
But, as the Associated Press notes, “records show the physical work was completed before President Donald Trump took office.”
In fact, there is little reason to suppose that Pruitt will keep pace with his predecessors on Superfund site management.
Last year, Pruitt appointed Albert Kelly to a task force to streamline the Superfund program. Kelly, a former Tulsa-based banker whose only qualification for the EPA was that he once loaned Pruitt money, was banned for life from the financial industry by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for violations of federal law that led to losses of his clients deposits not a confidence-inspiring record for a person who is now in charge of recommending reforms to a critical environmental program.
It is also worth noting that in his first budget outline, Trump recommended cutting the EPA by $2.6 billion, or nearly a third of the entire operating budget.
So not only is Pruitt taking credit for Obamas accomplishments, but he and his boss are making policies and appointments that stand to wipe out any chance the EPA can continue to do its job.
And we are already starting to see the real effects of Pruitts environmental agenda as he wipes out or cancels regulatory safeguards, with coal mining deaths doubling in his first year.
But in touting the former administrations success as his own, Pruitt is merely following the lead of Trump, who inherited a healthy and robust economy which he would like people to believe was his doing.
With a year separating us from the Obama presidency, soon it will be hard for Trumps officials to tout past successes, or to hide their own failures.