The EPA Goes To War With The Press Over Hurricane Harvey And Loses Big Time | THE POLITICUS

The EPA Goes To War With The Press Over Hurricane Harvey And Loses Big Time

Nearly lost in all the discussion of stiletto heels and inappropriate statements from Donald Trump in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is the fact that we have government agencies and programs whose job it is to do the things victims in Texas want to hear the president talk about. Caring for her citizens is the primary purpose of the United States, and Americans have done an excellent job through the years building the kind of structure and strategy that does just that.

But different leaders put different managers in charge of those programs, and unfortunately, though they are taxpayer-funded and accountable to US citizens, we don’t have a choice when a backwards leader puts a person in charge who doesn’t even like the program they’re heading up.

When that’s the case, as it is with the EPA’s Scott Pruitt, we often see the agency in question fail to hold up their end of the American bargain. And in the case of Hurricane Harvey, the EPA has given nothing but excuses for their notable absence from the scene of mayhem and destruction.

An AP report from Saturday detailed the fact that Houston is home to many Superfund sites, extremely contaminated areas that are specially designated by the government for cleanup under the 1980 law that created the Superfund. With the hurricane, those sites were not only in danger of becoming further contaminated but of leaking and spilling into the surrounding areas. The AP article by Jason Dearen and Michael Biesecker pointed out that the EPA’s statement that it was “reviewing aerial imagery” and had confirmed more than a dozen Superfund sites were “experiencing possible damage” served to underscore the fact that the EPA had not been to the area.

The statement confirmed the AP’s reporting that the EPA had not yet been able to physically visit the Houston-area sites, saying the sites had “not been accessible by response personnel.” EPA staff had checked on two Superfund sites in Corpus Christi on Thursday and found no significant damage.

AP journalists used a boat to document the condition of one flooded Houston-area Superfund site, but accessed others with a vehicle or on foot. The EPA did not respond to questions about why its personnel had not yet been able to do so.”

 

Let me tell you, that set the EPA off. Scott Pruitt’s office issued a response today, but instead of explaining why reporters had been able to walk to many of the areas while the EPA claimed they were inaccessible, they chose to attack the actual author of the AP article. Does that sound like a veteran Trump administration move, or what?

Unfortunately for Pruitt and the Bizarro-EPA he’s currently running, the best thing they could come up with was a character assassination of Biesecker from a Pruitt-friendly newspaper in Oklahoma, the state Pruitt was Attorney General for until his appointment to the federal government.

And even more unfortunately for them, nobody was fooled by their bullshit:

No surprise coming from Pruitt’s EPA and the Trump administration.


Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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