"Making America Toxic Again"

"Scott Pruitt’s job is to protect the environment. Unfortunately, God has other plans for him."

"About a month after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Scott Pruitt arrived at the Environmental Protection Agency for his first full day of work. The new administrator had weathered a contentious confirmation battle, with bitter debate over his long-standing ties to the industries he was now responsible for regulating—not to mention the 14 lawsuits he had filed against the agency as Oklahoma’s attorney general. But as he stepped into the EPA’s stately Rachel Carson Green Room, Pruitt wore the satisfied grin of a man in charge.

He took the stage with Catherine McCabe, the acting head of the agency. In the front rows sat some members of the EPA’s “beachhead team,” a group of mostly men whom Trump had installed to begin the process of dismantling the department of the Obama years. Among them were some familiar faces, such as David Schnare, a former career EPA official and prominent climate-science skeptic. A conspicuous number of security staffers circulated among the crowd.

McCabe handed Pruitt two gifts. One was a beige baseball hat inscribed with the EPA’s logo—a nod to Pruitt’s career as a college second baseman and a minor league co-owner. The other was an EPA pin, which she advised he should “proudly wear…on your lapel as you represent the agency.” Pruitt considered the pin for a moment and then set it on the podium. He appeared uncomfortable sharing the spotlight; as he stood next to McCabe, I saw him fidgeting with his glasses, his eyes shifting between her and the audience while she read a version of his biography that omitted the lawsuits."

Rebecca Leber reports for Mother Jones in the March/April 2018 Issue.

Source: Mother Jones, 02/21/2018