Tag: Scott Pruitt

Richard Epstein analyzes a lawsuit several major cities are bringing against oil companies over climate change, explains the economic and scientific considerations necessary to seriously grapple with the issue, and describes the libertarian approach to environmental harms.

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Its Christmas time and the Trump administration gifts just keep on giving.  I refer of course to the departures of many of the EPA weenies who have been terrorizing Americans and American businesses for so many years. James Delingpole reports from Breitbart. I don’t remember exactly how it came up. But at a nonpolitical convention, […]

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EPA’s Pruitt Asks for TV Climate Debate


The science may not be settled, but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants it televised. He raised the idea of a TV climate change debate in an interview with Reuters:

“There are lots of questions that have not been asked and answered (about climate change),” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

“Who better to do that than a group of scientists … getting together and having a robust discussion for all the world to see,” he added without explaining how the scientists would be chosen.

Scott Pruitt and the Environment


Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, has raised more hackles among progressive Democrats than any other Trump cabinet nominee. Typical of the ferocious opposition to his candidacy is the screed prepared by the Sierra Club that deems him a mortal threat to the safety of the planet because, as Attorney General in Oklahoma, he has “spent his time in office working to allow big polluters to do whatever they want, rather than protecting the health, clean air and water of his constituents.” Democrats like Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii have insisted that his nomination is “a four-alarm fire” because Pruitt is a pawn of fossil fuel companies whose cardinal sin is denying the conclusion of “climate scientists” that human emission of carbon dioxide is creating a global warming crisis.

The defenders of Pruitt have been equally vocal. President Trump, no man to mince words, has railed against the EPA for spending “taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn.” In his view, Pruitt is needed to restore some sense of balance to the entire enterprise.

So the big question is who is right and why. In order to cut through the strong rhetoric on both sides, it is important to return to first principles to see how the regulation of pollution and jobs fit together. To start, neither the environmentalists nor Pruitt hold the untenable view that pollution is a good thing. But they profoundly disagree on two key second-order questions—the correct definition of pollution and the right remedial structure to deal with its occurrence.