I’m Suing Scott Pruitt’s Broken EPA - Here’s How to Fix It

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I’m Suing Scott Pruitt’s Broken EPA - Here’s How to Fix It

By Joe Arvai, Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
One of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature moves has been to put the brakes on stringent fuel economy rules. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

One of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature moves has been to put the brakes on stringent fuel economy rules. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 12:00pm

Between 2011 and 2017, Joe Arvai was a member of the U.S. EPA's Chartered Science Advisory Board. He is now among a group of scientists that is suing the agency over Scott Pruitt's actions.

In 2017, just a few days after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, a freshman GOP lawmaker with only a few days on the job of his own, proposed House Resolution 861. Its language was ominous: “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

I was in my sixth year on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board when H.R.861 was introduced. When I called senior EPA colleagues to assess the threat, I was assured that it would never happen; the nation’s environmental laws, and the agency that makes and enforces them, could not be killed in two years by a 10-word resolution written by a rookie congressman.

Then along came Scott Pruitt.

Since taking over as administrator, Pruitt has overseen the nominations and appointments of a diverse array of lobbyists and corporate insiders while at the same time letting key vacancies languish. He has put the brakes on enforcement, slowed or suspended progressive regulatory actions initiated by his predecessors, and defended draconian budget cuts proposed by the White House.

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Keywords: Environment | Corporate Social Responsibility | EPA | Environmental Protection Agency | Erb Institute | Joe Arvai | Scott Pruitt | Sustainable Business | The Conversation | sustainability | thought leadership