Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start

Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start, by Coral Davenport.

In the four months since he took office as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history, according to experts in environmental law.

Mr. Pruitt’s supporters, including President Trump, have hailed his moves as an uprooting of the administrative state and a clearing of onerous regulations that have stymied American business. Environmental advocates have watched in horror as Mr. Pruitt has worked to disable the authority of the agency charged with protecting the nation’s air, water and public health.

But both sides agree: While much of Mr. Trump’s policy agenda is mired in legal and legislative delays, hampered by poor execution and overshadowed by the Russia investigations, the E.P.A. is acting. Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, is moving effectively to dismantle the regulations and international agreements that stood as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s legacy. …

And he is doing all this largely without the input of the 15,000 career employees at the agency he heads, according to interviews with over 20 current and former E.P.A. senior career staff members.

“I have been consistently informed by multiple career people at E.P.A. that Administrator Pruitt is not meeting with them ahead of making decisions like rolling back these major regulations,” said James J. Jones, who had worked at the agency since the Reagan administration before retiring in January.

Draining the swamp. Bypassing the ruling class, who totally staff the EPA.