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Liberal Vampires Attacking Conservative EPA Director Scott Pruitt

If it strikes you as odd that first Dr. Ben Carson had a bunch of negative stories dropped on him about his allegedly lavish office furniture spending and when that didn’t knock Dr. Carson out that story died and suddenly EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s rent suddenly hit every liberal paper your instinct that there’s a campaign being mounted against President Trump’s cabinet is correct.

Pruitt, who was Attorney General of Oklahoma prior to his appointment to head the EPA, is a longtime foe of Scott Pruittthe radical environmental organizations that inhabit the DC swamp. And as an outsider he doesn’t have a phalanx of DC-based supporters to run interference and catch bullets for him the way Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do.

So, it should surprise no one that the shadowy organization behind the smears being peddled against Pruitt is the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).  The EIP is a nonprofit founded in 2002 during the Republican administration of George W. Bush by Eric Schaeffer, a disgruntled EPA official. 

Schaeffer resigned his position as director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s office of civil enforcement in protest when the Bush White House exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to pursue an “all of the above” energy policy that did not, in his view, do enough to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants.

As our friends Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller News Foundation and J.E. Dyer at the Liberty Unyielding website have pointed out, EIP has a strong animus against coal, as you can learn from the organization’s website. 

Savvy readers also understand that much of what progressive-left nonprofits do is about who runs them and who funds them, and on both counts, EIP is knee-deep in usual-suspect connections, including the constellation of Obama’s green-energy cronies.

Regarding funding, say Bastasch and Dyer, prominent sources for EIP, as documented by a congressional report in 2014, are the Wallace Global Foundation and the Energy Foundation, which in turn gets much of its funding from the Sea Change Foundation set up by renewables billionaire Nat Simons, a major beneficiary of Obama’s green-energy cronyism.  (And yes, both foundation sources send money to and from the Tides Foundation and others in the standard list of progressive and radical-left money sumps.)

Sea Change has popped up behind many anti-fracking pushes, with a key connection – a shadowy firm called Klein Ltd. – apparently having links to big names in Russian energy, noted Dyer and Bastasch.

Without making claims about what that means, Dyer and Bastasch take note of the fact that Sea Change, through the Energy Foundation, was behind a highly – demonstrably – deceptive report published by EIP in 2016 about effects from fracking in Pennsylvania.

Those who follow the highly networked, heavily funded world of green-energy messaging won’t be surprised by this say Dyer and Bastasch.  The fact that EIP put out a report that simply ignored recent, contra-indicative research is an important one, and we shouldn’t miss it.  EIP publishes dubious and easily countered material.  It is not necessarily a reliable source.

Dyer and Bastasch also say we shouldn’t be surprised that Nat Simons was revealed to be a close associate of Hillary Clinton’s in the 2016 timeframe, along with other green-energy moguls like Tom Steyer.

Steyer is a top participant in Democracy Alliance, the Far-Left organization we exposed in our “Summer Revolution” series, whose members and affiliated nonprofit basically account – as far as can be discerned – for much of EIP’s funding (see the congressional report from 2014).

Dyer and Bastasch report EIP’s formal financial documents show all the top donors as anonymous; its annual reports list a number of donors by name, but include anonymous donors in the top two tiers, where virtually all the money comes from.  Bottom line: EIP’s funding doesn’t yield a trail of accountability.

Before moving on to the individuals in charge of EIP, said Dyer and Bastach, it’s worth noting that the first funder mentioned, Wallace Global Foundation, has been prominently involved in a number of instances in promoting political messages via media nonprofits and (thence through) the mainstream media.  The Media Research Center’s work indicates that thematic messaging – as in, “Scott Pruitt is a big anti-environmentalist scandal!” – is a major line of effort for WGF.

As our friend Jenny Beth Martin of tea Party Patriots noted in a recent op-ed in The Hill, when Scott Pruitt took charge at EPA. he immediately focused on returning the agency to its stated goals of improving air quality, shoring up our water infrastructure, and cleaning up contaminated areas.

This was a huge change after the Obama administration, which used the EPA to issue volumes of job-killing regulations to mollify environmental extremists. Among its most egregious efforts, it utilized “sue and settle” practices to abuse legal limits on rulemaking and reward ideological allies.

As Tom Shepstone of Natural Gas Now points out, Larry Shapiro, who sits on EIP’s board, is a long-time litigator who has made a livelihood from the sue-and-settle practices of the EPA, which ramped up significantly under Bill Clinton, and later exponentially under Barack Obama. 

Republican administrations have tended to be financially disappointing times for environmental law practices note Bastasch and Dyer.  Trump’s EPA, under Pruitt, is actively rolling back regulations that would otherwise keep environmental law practitioners in lucrative work for decades.

As Jenny Beth Martin noted for The Hill, in his first year in charge of the EPA, Pruitt finalized more than 20 deregulatory actions, saving taxpayers more than $1 billion in regulatory costs. He also ended the “sue and settle” practices. The agency is rescinding and replacing the ridiculous and onerous “Waters of the United States” rule, and acting on President Trump’s order to review and overturn the Obama administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

Delivering these results has put a “yuge” target on Pruitt’s back, said Jenny Beth, but the charges are totally phony.

The EPA’s chief ethics counsel Justina Fugh told Bloomberg “the arrangement wasn’t an ethics issue because Pruitt paid rent,” and EPA released a memo from the agency’s lead ethics officer on the lease.

“As EPA career ethics officials stated in a memo, Administrator Pruitt’s housing arrangement for both himself and family was not a gift and the lease was consistent with federal ethics regulations,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement.

“He paid a fair price for what amounts to just a room,” Fugh told Bloomberg. “So, I don’t even think that the fact that the house is owned by a person whose job is to be a lobbyist causes us concern.”

The next time you see an article attacking Scott Pruitt, understand that, as Jenny Beth Martin put it, the environmental left, liberal bureaucrats and academics, and their allies in the media have been relentlessly attacking him in what appears to be a coordinated media assault, because he’s delivering on President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp at the EPA, and in the process, breaking the rice bowls of some of the Swamp’s worst liberal vampires like the Environmental Integrity Project’s Larry Shapiro and Eric Schaeffer.

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Scott Pruitt

I don't think anyone should criticize Mr. Pruitt until they start an investigation into Debbie W Schultz and her IT people. She had at least 4 who made over $150,000 a year with no IT experience at all and no background check. They stole laptops and other electronic equipment and the guy in jail occasionally paraded his wife through the building so staff could see her to justify her getting paid. She was getting paid, for nothing. DWS should have to account for this and pay the taxpayers back for all the fraud.

EPA Pruitt

Pruitt is in big oil's pocket. All of agriculture is to suffer even as big oil pulls in huge profits. He really cares nothing for cleaner air resulting from ethanol blending. Needs to go.