RSS Feed
« L.A. CITY HALL: Council District 1, May 16 runoff election: Commentary (Opinion L.A. - Mariel Garza), "Bray-Ali vs. Cedillo runoff is a victory for a new vision of a sustainable L.A." .... | Main | POLITICS (National): President Donald Trump, credibility gap, Obama wiretapping of Trump Tower?: Commentay (Dan Balz), "What will it take for the president to retract his tweets about Obama?" .... »

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT (National): Donald Trump presidency, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, federalism? states' rights?: Commentary (Op-Ed: Richard Revesz), "According to Scott Pruitt, states only have the right to pollute, not protect their environments" ....  

* Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed: Richard Revesz):  "According to Scott Pruitt, states only have the right to pollute, not protect their environments" - From the LAT:

Throughout his confirmation hearing and in a recent interview, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wrapped himself in the mantle of federalism, calling the shared distribution of power between the federal government and states a “bedrock principle” of environmental laws.

Pruitt accused the Obama administration of intruding on the autonomy that environmental laws give to the states and vowed to set this balance right. But Pruitt’s views are inconsistent with any coherent vision of federalism. His zeal for preserving the autonomy of states is limited to states that favor less stringent environmental protection. As he prepares to implement executive orders on environmental regulations, Pruitt’s misguided approach could threaten safeguards for clean air and water in California and around the country.

Left to their own devices, states cannot effectively control pollution that travels across state lines. Each state has an incentive to attract industry and overlook pollution that affects residents of other states. For this reason, since 1977, the Clean Air Act has had a “good neighbor” provision to constrain such pollution.


Though Pruitt opposes federal interference with state policies that favor polluters, he seems entirely open to meddling with state efforts to reduce emissions within their borders . . . . . . . .

Pruitt is clearly willing to trample on state efforts to provide citizens with cleaner air and instead prioritize the interests of polluters . . . . . . . .

He misled the Senate during his hearing when he said that . . . . . . . .

He also used false and misleading statistics in order to characterize his polluter-friendly approach as a return to normality . . . . . . . .

Pruitt’s incoherent approach is neither logical nor consistent with history. He seems to think that states have an inviolable right to protect the financial interests of heavily polluting industries, but not the health of their own citizens. This is not a vision of federalism that the drafters of our environmental laws — nor the drafters of our Constitution — would recognize.