Trump “draining the swamp”? No – he dove right in

The Daily Climate’s Weekend Reader, Sunday March 11 (email) contains the following analysis:

What is the Trump Administration’s role on keeping lobbyists out of government?  “Apparently, President Trump’s operative plan for draining the Washington swamp is to hire former lobbyists to do cannonballs into it. The Associated Press reports that of 59 hires they tracked at EPA, about a third previously worked as registered lobbyists or lawyers for “chemical companies, fossil fuel producers, and other corporate clients.”

The New Republic’s Emily Atkin writes that EPA’s social media is promoting the work of the venerable climate deniers at the Heartland Institute. Meanwhile, The Hill, whose news reporters do solid work on the environment, chose to publish a cheerful op-ed from Heartland that blows kisses to EPA boss Scott Pruitt and his march toward “greatness.”

Hey, when you get chosen for the world’s most important cabinet, maybe $139,000 doors are appropriate? Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent that much, according to the AP, on office improvements. Secretary Zinke also opined this week that wind turbines are warming the planet.

Beyond the doors, these are strange days at Interior. Alexander C. Kaufman and Chris D’Angelo of Huff Post report that actual scientists are locked out of decision making in favor of unqualified bloggers and ideologues.

Not to be outdone, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was reportedly involved in some environmental swampery while in the Senate: Mother Jones links him to a bribery scandal involving a Superfund site in an inner-city Birmingham neighborhood.

And EPA brushed off environmental racism claims from another Alabama site: Uniontown is a predominantly black town in the shadow of a colossal landfill that receives garbage from 33 states,

Interesting read from The New York Times: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wanted to stage a “red-blue debate” on climate change late last year, but White House Chief of Staff John Kelly denied the effort (but credit the scoop to Robin Bravender of E&E News with the scoop on this, back in December.)”

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