EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s life is worth more than yours or mine. We all know that the Environmental Protection Agency is being scaled back, their hands tied when it comes to doing their job monitoring and enforcing laws that were intended to protect our environment, our health and our very lives. This was Trump’s dream, to repeal all laws and actions that were implemented by President Obama … or any previous presidents, for that matter.
In a Washington Post article this morning, however, the assault on the functionality of the EPA has been taken to a new level. Agents who are trained in investigating environmental crimes have been taken away from their jobs … and placed on a security detail to protect, not the environment, but director Scott Pruitt. Pruitt is now receiving round-the-clock security protection by agents whose jobs it has been to monitor assaults on the air and water we rely on to survive.
Reportedly, Pruitt has been the victim of threats … threats he brought upon himself by his own rhetoric, his denial of human contributions to climate change, and his intent to rollback previous efforts to protect our planet.
In the past, the EPA director has had one of the smallest security details of all cabinet members. It should still be so. The agents being relocated to Pruitt’s personal security detail are, understandably, not happy. Michael Hubbard, a former special agent who led the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division office in Boston said, “These guys signed on to work on complex environmental cases, not to be an executive protection detail. It’s not only not what they want to do, it’s not what they were trained and paid to do.”
Who pays the price for keeping Pruitt safe and cozy? Well, you already know the answer to that, folks. But what is that price? I do not know what it is costing today, but to put it into perspective, during Pruitt’s first three months in his current position, his personal security detail cost We The People $832,735.40. Since then, his security detail has nearly tripled, so I will leave it to you to do the math. The $800k was nearly double what the previous director required. Process that one for a minute.
But even the cost of Pruitt’s security pales in comparison to the cost of the damage that is going unnoticed
Patrick Sullivan, the EPA assistant inspector general for investigations, said, “A lot of correspondence we have reflects that people are unhappy with his perceived unenforcement of environmental laws.” Now, we all know that! The vast majority of people in the U.S. do believe the scientists and do wish to preserve the planet for future generations, contrary to the rhetoric of Trump & Co. Shouldn’t these ‘threats’ be a wake-up call to Pruitt that he is on the wrong track? Wouldn’t you think that somebody in power would assess the situation and realize that we care more about our planet than apparently Trump or Pruitt do? But alas … I must have forgotten for a moment, that our needs are secondary to Trump & Co.’s personal goal of reversing every good thing that has been done in the past 8 years. Whatever was I thinking?
This is yet another nail in the coffin of our hopes for any meaningful enforcement of environmental laws … the few that remain, that is. My own opinion is that Pruitt was the worst possible choice for this job, given that he has filed multiple lawsuits against the very agency he now leads, and it is his own words and actions that have placed him in this situation. If the threats are real, and I have some doubt about the volume of threats quoted by the agency, he brought them on himself, so let him hire his own bodyguards from his own pay. His net worth is valued at somewhere between $1 million and $5 million, so he can better afford it than we can. I do believe in providing security for our employees, but to take people away from doing an important job so they can protect a man who is purposefully destroying our lives, is unconscionable.