Via someone else (Gavin, perhaps?; his tweet is relevant) - I certainly don't read The Hill regularly - comes Trump's EPA pick will make Obama regret his environmental overreach by evil arch uber-villain Patrick Michaels. A quick search shows me not having much to say about PM; I seem to have left that to Eli (but that was waay back in 2006); there's also Tim Lambert, who certainly isn't keen; and I side-swipe PM in 2013 over some silly sea level graph.
Anyway, the piece can be taken as an indication of what PM thinks the Trump administration is likely to do, though there is no suggestion of inside knowledge; PM must be somewhat distressed that his own invitation to kiss the ring is so long delayed. Probably, it is the views of one particular faction jostling for attention from the Doge. So let's read it, with that in mind. First of all note the keyword "overreach", which is central to a lot of their thinking. As with everything, you can read this two ways, and you should read it both ways: firstly, as a principled pro-constitution stand; second, and a way of trying to shift the argument onto their own ground.
But reading on, we have
President Obama... issued a “preliminary finding of endangerment” from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions. Under their interpretation of the Supreme Court’s landmark 2007 climate change ruling... not only permitted the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1992, it compelled the agency to do so...
As long as the Endangerment Finding stands, any EPA, including one headed by Pruitt, will be in court defending against any subsidiary attempt to halt or reverse any regulation of carbon dioxide.... So the Endangerment Finding must be reversed.
But how to do it? For years, federal agencies have thrown massive support at scientists who, as human beings, serve their best interests (and their employer-universities) by generating horror-show results that also generate more support and professional advancement.
The Trump administration is going to have to stock up on scientists and administrators who are savvy to this game, and they are going to be very hard to find, as there’s very little incentive to not play along.
That is interesting. In particular, I find As long as the Endangerment Finding stands, any EPA, including one headed by Pruitt, will be in court defending against any subsidiary attempt to halt or reverse any regulation of carbon dioxide fascinating. This is a totally different view of the world from the near-panic-stricken stuff I see in my fb, Twitter and news feeds about ZOMG! Trump appoints Pruitt! All your base are belong to them. The bad guys think they're going to have to abide by due process instead.
But more entertaining - and the true topic of this post, which I've come round to at last - is the ending: The Trump administration is going to have to stock up on scientists and administrators who are savvy to this game, and they are going to be very hard to find. This, again, appears to be a realisation that they'll have to play by the rules, at least to a large extent: they will actually need to find themselves "compliant science". And it looks like PM is fully aware of how hard that is going to be. Naturally, he dresses it up in his own way, trying to imply that the good guys all act like Willie Soon. But in his heart he knows that it is reality itself that he's fighting.
Which is why it will be so entertaining watching them try to back up the hot words of There’s going to have to be a massive effort to pick apart failing climate models and questionably-adjusted data with actual action. Perhaps the GWPF will be salivating with the thoughts of yummy grant money being shoveled their way for their pathetic "review".
So, call me Pollyanna if you must, but I find this all vaguely reassuring. Well, I don't find the sight of everyone panciking reassuring, but you'll quiet down in a bit, it isn't possible to live in a state of permanent panic.
* Me apologising for misreading Hayek
* They’re coming for climate scientists! by ATTP
* Gather ye climate data while ye may wherein Tamino veers off into Wattie-land
* Dismantling Climate Rules Isn’t So Easy NYT Op-Ed by By WILLIAM W. BUZBEE.
A hopeless Pollyanna. Heartland is well stocked with BS peddlers.
Under the optimistic (in the light of how the police defends the rule breakers in case of DAPL) assumption that they will abide by the law, it would also be good news that they are making lists of everyone who has ever done something climate related. If they use these lists to fire everyone, it will take a long time until they have the expertise again to do the bidding of the donors in a smart way to stay within the bounds of the law.
Laws are easy to change when you control all three branches of government.
[Like the Dems in 2009, you mean? -W]
A Resolution of Disapproval passed by both houses of congress and signed by the President would reverse the Endangerment Finding.
The only thing standing in their way is a possible Senate filibuster, but that's assuming the GOP doesn't just do away with the filibuster.
The "principled pro-constitution stand" view is contradicted by all the issues in which the same people show nothing but disdain for the constitution. I think your major mistake here is to assume there is some resemblance of sanity remaining on the USA right.
[https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/theyre-coming-for… But I'll let you constitutional lawyers argue it out over there -W]
So it is established that pigs have wings. But can they fly?
Pruitt was an excellent choice, and may be Trump's best pick yet.
But more entertaining – and the true topic of this post, which I’ve come round to at last – is the ending: The Trump administration is going to have to stock up on scientists and administrators who are savvy to this game, and they are going to be very hard to find. This, again, appears to be a realisation that they’ll have to play by the rules, at least to a large extent: they will actually need to find themselves “compliant science”. And it looks like PM is fully aware of how hard that is going to be.
In certain quarters the Trump campaign and much of global warming is framed as a battle against establishment elites. I'd read this as Pat Michaels feigning concern that the party which controls all governmental branches of the most powerful country on the planet is still to be viewed as the plucky underdog in a fight against academia elitists. It's obvious nonsense, but there needs to be a bogeyman to keep their voter base's eyes focused elsewhere.
The inertia of bureaucracy is what lets me sleep at night, and what let me sleep at night during Bush. In places with rather less of a democratic tradition it took Putin a decade and Erdogan a decade and a half in power to get to really get going.
I suspect that Trump and friends will not achieve an increase in coal and gasoline burning: the economics don't support it. However, my fear is that they *will* achieve a slowdown in the transition to cleaner energy sources. And we're already well behind on that transition.
My other fear is that China will eat America's lunch by converting to clean power first and thereby owning that space. China is already in the lead on solar panels. But that's just tribalism on my part: whether the US, Germany, or China ends up powering the world only changes what language the executives speak, it doesn't affect sea levels.
Would that the BS overstock were not bipartisan, but it surely and sadly is.
The CO2 eukase is the tip of the spear of bureaucratic turf building, an act of legal macroagression culminating decades of regulatory microagressions against liberty, property and commonsense.
Much of this proliferation stems from semantic aggression in the name of science and nature, especially the expanding legal and legislative definition of "the environment' to encompass not just macroecologies like tidal wetlands , but every microniche that gives rise to microevolution.
One reason the red states revolted is that protecting subsppecies as fast as biologists can define them has embroiled the EPA in a wholesale regulatory takeover of private lands as well as public commons, with nightmarish results for those who wake up in legal jeopardy whenever a new nematode or blind daddy longlegs is discovered in a karst hole under the family farm, or someone in DC rules their hog wallow a wetland subject to compliance with the last 80,000 page addition to the Federal Register.
Russell, I'm with you about preserving individual species and moments in time in amber, so to speak. And litigation over some of them is now exploited to prevent clean renewable energy development. When first we practice to deceive ... But the wholesale extinction now in progress is another story.
Came across this in my Boston Globe today (not linking as my subscription link won't work, sorry). To find it, title is "Republicans in Congress prepare obscure tactic to gut Obama regulations"; a search might find it.
a flurry of activity all over Washington as congressional aides, lobbyists, and policy wonks scrambled to get up to speed on terms of the Congressional Review Act. People with expertise in its esoteric ways are suddenly in high demand.
Batkins and his team had been writing about the act since last year, when its relevance was still hypothetical. The group recently put out a list of the 10 most expensive Obama regulations it could be used against, including the overtime rule.
Senate Democrats can’t rely on their typical go-to counteroffensive, the filibuster. A key reason this regulatory repeal tool is so potent is that it requires just a simple majority — 51 votes — in the Senate, not the 60-vote super majority most legislation requires.
Another reason: If Congress uses it to successfully overturn a regulation, the agency is barred from ever again issuing rules that closely match what lawmakers rejected — unless Congress passes new legislation permitting the agency to do so.
As Curtis Copeland, one of Washington's foremost experts on the CRA, put it, this is a legislative tool that salts the earth behind it.
That could be just what the current Republican Congress has in mind.
“If they don’t want climate change regulations to be issued in the future, what better way than using the Congressional Review Act,” said Copeland, on the law at the Congress’s think tank, the Congressional Research Service.
GOP senators also seek to eliminate new rules that prevent US corporations from avoiding federal taxes through “earnings stripping,’’ a key tactic in offshore “inversions’’ that corporations use to relocate to a lower cost country.
The rules environmentalists are preparing to defend: an Interior Department rule restricting the amount of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — that can be released into the air by oil and gas producers drilling on public lands, and an Environmental Protection Agency decision that airplane exhaust contributes to global warming.
Back in the those halcyon days, when the other party controlled both Houses and the White House, the House of Representatives passed a cap and trade bill. It was so egregiously awful that it destroyed the chance of any climate legislation for ten years or more. President Obama dealt cap and trade a fatal blow when he reversed his position on 100% auction.
Since then, the Administration has attempted to make law. through, executive actions, bureaucratic regulation and the courts rather than through legislation. It is an issue in the EPA and other government agencies and departments. Much of President Obama's "pen and phone" policy actions is rightly called over reach. The President holds the record for most executive actions unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Yes, Russell, that's why they attacked Rachel Carson in the 60's - before the EPA was even a glimmer in Richard Nixon's eye.
Bald eagles -- and most other birds of prey -- were on a quick road to extinction in the USA until those nasty regulators got involved and trampled all over the rights of good, god-fearing folk.
What's the frickin' point when we now live in a fact free universe? I'm sure we can spin this so that the revival of bald eagles is due to their increased use of tobacco ... or perhaps market forces ... hmm, yeah, that's the ticket.
Why save insanely ridiculous species?
Of course people like Russell can accurately predict the ecological effect of removing any species; i.e., they predict no consequences. So each species must live in total isolation divorced from all others. There's no such thing as a foodchain, or symbiosis, etc., etc. It's all just a ruse invented by regulators at the EPA.
And we wonder why Trump won. I've *lived* War Against the Greens. The constitution is the last thing in these people's minds. Go buy a frickin' clue.
"The CO2 eukase is the tip of the spear of bureaucratic turf building, an act of legal macroagression culminating decades of regulatory microagressions against liberty, property and commonsense."
This has to be a Poe, right? We haven't finally come full extremest circle to the point where both the far left and far right are complaining about microaggressions, have we?
Kevin should be very afraid, lest he find a Bone Cave Harvestman dwelling in the lump of coal in his Christmas stocking.
The blind two millimeter arachnid may not look too fearsome ,even if magnified, but as the EPA has declared humidity changes hazardous to the health of the newly discovered, and hence presumptively endangered creature. breathing in its general direction may be ruled a legal "take" against it , a microgression placing Kevin in jeopardy of a year in jail and a $50,000 fine ,
Kevin's neighbors can likewise be obliged to pay $400,000 per acre for any act of devlopment within 35 feet of the wee mite's new habitat, and his next nearest neighbors must first give the EPA $10,000 to study the impact of building as much as a treehouse within 345 feet of the thing.
Worst hit, however , will be the county in which he resides-- a $20,000,000 perpetual trust fund must be established to assure his posterity never bother its posterity, because you see, the EPA has ruled Texella reyesi to exist not only in the state of nature but the realm of interstate commerce, making Kevin the subterranean creature's lawful prey pursuant to the Commerce Clause.
Multiply that propect by a million millimetric nondescripts, down to and including bacteria and protozoans, and you've got a new legal monstrosity every time an invertibrate zoologist turns over a new rock, because though
"Texelia reyesi was subsequently described to include some of the specimens formerly attributed to Texeila reddelli, as well as specimens from several newly-discovered localities (Ubick and Briggs 1992). According to Ubick and Briggs (1992, p.208), “[tihe two species are clearly very closely related and, using the standards of genitalic distinctness applied to other, Texella species, may even be considered conspecific.” Both of these species continue to face the same general threats identified in the original listing of the Bee Creek Cave harvestman. Their combined ranges, including newly- discovered localities, extend about 31 miles (50 km) along the edge of the Edwards Plateau in Travis and Williamsoncounties.Althoughthe weak differentiation of the two species would justify the continued recognition of all of these populations under the single name recognized in the original listing, the Service prefers to fellow the published revision in taxonomy and recognize Texeiloreddelliand Texeflo revesi as equivalent to the originally- listed Bee Creek Cave harvestman. Both species will therefore be induded as endangered species in the next republication of the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11).
Texello reddelli will retain the common name of Bee Creek Cave harvestman, as in previous publications of the List, and the new entry for Texella reyesi will include the common name of “Bone Cave harvestman.”
The Service has determined that this amendment to 50 CFR of taxonomic changes does not impact or change the status of the species covered under the current List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife nor does it affect the types of activities that are permitted or prohibited. Since this final rule reflects actions already accomplished by the scientificcommunity, thisdocument is not a rule as contemplated by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C 601)
and ExecutiveOrder 12291. Therefore, as provided by 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the Service has determined that solicitation of public comment is unnecessary and serves no public interest."
In other words, Because Rachel Carson.
The fake "Democrats controlled 2009" meme documented and well busted.
[I don't really want to go through a constitutional history. But the Dems had majorities in both, and the Prez -W]
Trump’s picks to run the agencies are troubling because they signal what he might do.
Even Bush wasn’t this brazen about dismantling environmental protections. With the extremists republicans in congress, Trump might try whole scale legislative rollbacks.
Barring that, there is a lot of damage that can be done in the agencies. There are civil service laws that insulate the rank and file employees. Administrators can’t fire people at will, but they can make conditions unpleasant enough so that they decide to leave. The EPA lost a lot of good lawyers because of Bush’s appointees. Appointees can also prioritize what agencies do, like not issue new regulations, not enforce existing ones, or rewrite regulations to make them ineffective. Bush did this in covert ways, I don’t Trump will be so subtle.
Environmental groups’ lawyers are going to be very busy people, and they can do a lot to lessen the damage. What worries me still is Trump has been willing to ignore the rule of law or abuse it in his life up to this point, and there is little reason to think he will change now.
For Russell, yes, the EPA and the Endangered Species Act is a problem, in the way that it has no role in it. Endangered species protection is done by the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
I thank Joseph O'Sullivan for something I might never have learned without his illuminating counsel, as few humans live long enough to read the whole of the Federal Register.
re # 16: You are in error, sir. In the 111th Congress (2009 - 2010), The Democrats had larger majorities in both houses than the Republicans will have in the upcoming Congress. Your linked blog post is immaterial as it merely argues the Democrats didn't have a "filibuster proof" Senate in those aforementioned halcyon days.
The size of a majority in the House is not particularly meaningful, due to its "majority-rules" rules.
In 2009-10 the Democratic majority in the Senate was constrained by the filibuster.
We do not yet know what rules the new Senate will enact. If they retain the filibuster, then yes, as Paul Kelly states, the GOP's effective position in the Senate will be slightly weaker than the Democratic one in 2009-2010. If the Senate ditches the filibuster, then the GOP's position will be stronger than the D's was.
No party has controlled the White House, House of Representatives, and a filibuster-proof Senate since the 1970s. The nation is much more polarized and partisan today than it was in the 1970s.
I personally do not like the filibuster and would prefer for it to go away. But it's worth noting that if the GOP does get rid of it, they will have a degree of power in Washington that is unprecedented in recent decades.
More for the long-closed "Why study ... Antarctica" thread, alas: the ice cap meltwater, tracked and channels videotaped:
The researchers are not saying, to be sure, that these processes are caused by human-induced climate change — they note in particular that on the Roi Baudouin shelf, it appears that there has been some melting at the surface since the 1980s. However, Lenaerts said it is already clear that there is much more meltwater during warmer summers than in cooler ones. And global warming will gradually produce warmer Antarctic temperatures, which should increase the volume of meltwater atop of these ice shelves, pushing them still further in the Greenland direction.
What this means is that the shelves could be subject to the risk of what researchers call “hydro-fracturing”: When a great deal of meltwater forms atop the shelf and pushes inside of it, eventually leading to a crackup. That’s what’s believed to have happened in the classic case of the shattering of the Larsen B ice shelf in the Antarctic peninsula in 2002. Now the fear is that it could happen in the East Antarctic, too, where there is a massive amount of ice to potentially lose....
Taking any long bets on sea level rise?
==== excerpt follows=====
“It’s generally accepted that it’s no longer a question of whether the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will melt, it’s a question of when,” study leader Ian Howat, associate professor of Earth sciences at Ohio State, said in a statement. If things continue the way they are, glaciers will keep melting, and West Antarctica will significantly collapse “in our lifetimes.”
[I don't think it is realistic to bet past, say, 10 years, and I don't think anyone would be prepared to bet on WAIS collapse to any significant extent within 10 years -W]
PS, read the comments there at The Verge, the IPCC is cited ...
At this point it won't surprise me if my federal government, after noting an increase in flooding, will in a bipartisan effort, write a law requiring the big insurance companies to issue rate-controlled flood insurance using other risk pools.
Oops, Greenland could all melt: http://www.usnews.com/news/at-the-edge/articles/2016-12-07/greenland-ha…
[Greenalnd will all melt. We've known that for some time. The question is how long it will take -W]
The Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority for five months in 2009, between the seating of Al Franken (there was litigation and a recount) and the illness and death of Edward (Ted) Kennedy. Obama "squandered" it on health care. Being a man of intelligence and goodwill, he was not prepared for a unified opposition that was not interested in reality, only in defeating anything he offered. He wasted a lot of being open and human.
We discount the presence of evil in human history at our peril. There has been a four-decade campaign (Reagan and Thatcher in front, but lots of people in the back room) to roll back the progress of the 20th century. Jane Mayer is a good source, as was Chris Mooney in The Republican War on Science, and Stephen Schneider in Science as a Contact Sport.
Turns out a bunch of teenagers in Macedonia who needed money to pay bills (health care was mentioned) discovered the best way to do so was to promulgate lies promoting Trump. This will not cross the pond, most likely,
[The story is a familiar one. The news is available to anyone who wants it. Fake news is available to prop up the worldview of anyone who wants it. Fake news is nothing new. Your problem is not fake news, but an electorate that is not interested in distinguishing -W]
so try a search on "fake news Macedonia". Both NBC and ABC (our major news networks) have stories on it. The truth no longer matters or can get a foothold. People are so angry they'll believe anything.
The articles, sensationalist and often baseless, were posted to Facebook, drawing in armies of readers and earning fake-news writers money from penny-per-click advertising.
Dimitri says he's earned at least $60,000 in the past six months — far outstripping his parents' income and transforming his prospects in a town where the average annual wage is $4,800. He is one of the more successful fake news pushers in the area.
His main source of cash? Supporters of America's president-elect.
"Nothing can beat Trump's supporters when it comes to social media engagement," he says. "So that's why we stick with Trump."
There have always been people willing to exploit the credulous to get money and power. But I could argue forever, and get nowhere.
Do we care enough to be compassionate? We can hate on Trump and his people forever, and it will get exactly nowhere. But we could instead commit to standing for the best of humanity. It will not be comfortable, but the alternative, now that earth itself is becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of marketing and exploitation, is worse.
[I think you should try reading something from the other side. It looks to me as though you only read your side. Try reading Hayek. He's a bit dry, but very good -W]
"Try reading Hayek. He’s a bit dry, but very good -W"
Isn't this how we got into this mess in the first place? Too many people thinking Hayek had good ideas. Mmm...
[No, it was through not reading Hayek. Have you ever read him, or are you relying exclusively on the reports from people who don't like him? -W]
Neither: prior to posting I did some genning up, as one does.
I do get the impression that the 'Free Marketers' typically pick and choose from his work, rather than follow all the principles.
[I'm glad you put FM in quotes; because of course many of those who call themselves FM aren't. and, as I'm sure you realise, H isn't to blame for being misused by others -W]
My first concern is with his insistence on the priority of the individual, but till I have read some, I'm making no judgments as such.
[I'm glad you're reserving judgement, because I think you're wrong about "priority of the individual", if by that you mean that an individual's views should have priority over another's, or over the needs of society as a whole -W]
It is difficult to communicate exactly what I have in mind, and then it ends up being too long anyway. I'll spend some time doing other things for a bit, as the current situation here is so worrying. Facts on the ground appear to be worse than my previous nightmares. (See Aleppo massacre, for example.)
I'll look into Hayek, thanks, I suspect what has been made of him, while all too real, is distorted almost beyond recognition. But here Hayek is what Reagan, Gingrich, Grover Norquist, and their unified Republican buddies make of him as a basis for action.
What I was trying (and failing) to describe was a radio report on a data analysis of fake news, which cited the Macedonian teenagers.
Fake News Expert On How False Stories Spread And Why People Believe Them
December 14, 2016 • Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News has spent years studying media inaccuracy. He explains how false stories during the presidential campaign were spread on Facebook and monetized by Google AdSense.
Yes, people are free to ignore it, but I think in your rational world you are not as regularly exposed to people who think the "truth" is a matter of choice. Here, they have become a powerful force, just like other peak civilization enablers of destructive forces.
[I've seen the fake stories, including the Macedonians. Its not that I don't believe it, its that I think its far less important than you do. People can surround themselves with fake news if they want to, but this is nothing new, and the sort of people that surround themselves with fake news aren't open to persuasion anyway. The causality flows the other way: they are seeing out the news they want to see to reinforce their world view. Naturally, no-one at all on "our side" ever does that -W]
WMC, what you or I "think" is largely irrelevant. I did try to provide a fact-based analysis of the problem, but since I'm not getting through, I looked up the transcript and put some relevant extracts below to indicate the difference between what I'm trying to say and your reasonable but dismissive response.
Just for the record, I've now read several reports on Rex Tillerson, and it is my opinion that we may well be surprised by him. I think he might operate as a check on the radical pro-fossil anti-climate science domination of Trump's picks to lead the EPA and defund earth science that provides information about climate. He seems to me to be intelligent and thoughtful and able to sift through knowledge, and in the end I suspect he is likely to be more pro-human than pro-fossil. It will be his job to do so and he may well not burk that assignment.
Americans who were shown a fake news headline and had remembered it from the election believed it to be accurate. And that's a really shocking thing. It's impossible to go the next step and say, well, they voted because of that. But I think one of the things this election has shown is that people will believe fake news, misinformation will spread and people will believe it and it will become part of their worldview.
the scale of Facebook, which I think people should never get comfortable with how big it is because it's unlike anything in human history. There are almost 2 billion people logging in every month around the world. We've never had a communications system where people are connected in this way that has reached that amount of scale.
The other unsexy thing finally, I think, is that we need to put this in our education system. There are a lot of people being fooled by fake news. There are a lot of people who don't know how to kind of check out the story they're reading online and that's understandable. It's not a matter of intelligence. We're consuming media in very different ways. We're having a whole menu of links and things from all different kinds of sources fed to us every day by Facebook. And that's very different from opening up a newspaper and knowing where everything was coming from. So I think we do in our schools need to start thinking about how we integrate more media literacy and critical thinking education so that people can make better judgments for themselves
Jerry Brown: "If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite."
And rename the agency CASA? That would be appropriate:
California Aeronautics and Space Agency
[Cute, but its just pol talk. Firstly, Trump isn't going to turn off any satellites. Secondly, just launching the things is only a tiny part of the whole (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2016/08/29/launch-spending/) -W]
Mr. Icahn controls an EPA-regulated oil refiner, CVR Energy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Icahn’s American Railcar Industries is suing the Federal Railroad Administration for allegedly unlawfully requiring it to test tank cars for leaks....
Fake news as same-old same-old? Quantity and focus unchanged from the past? We've always had climate change.
>Trump isn't going to turn off any satellites
All he has to do is get NASA to quit taking the data. The ground stations and analysis are the on/off switches for climate science.
"... Understanding the variability imposed on the atmosphere by the Sun is also critically important for separating natural variability from anthropogenic effects on the atmosphere, such as those associated with increasing carbon dioxide [Yue et al., 2015]....
... the SABER instrument [Russell et al., 1999] on the NASA TIMED satellite has been observing the thermal structure, chemical composition, and energy balance of the terrestrial atmosphere between 15 and 250 km [Mlynczak, 1997]. In particular, SABER has provided unique measurements on the infrared energy budget of the thermosphere above 100 km....
... SABER continues to take data as the Sun is approaching its next minimum. As of this writing, SABER is approved to operate through September 2017, and in early 2017 NASA will decide whether to extend its operations for another 2 years...."
William Buzbee at the Center for Progressive Reform had an Op-ed in the NY Times about what Trump can do. The uptake was Trump can mess around but there are institutional safeguards that will prevent too much damage.
[Thanks; I'll add that link -W]
Can you say "chickenshit"?
Given the scale of his regulatory challenges, Mr. Pruitt turned to major corporate law firms, which typically defend energy companies fighting these laws, for help. In some cases, that assistance was offered free.
BakerHostetler, the Cleveland-based law firm whose clients have included dozens of energy industry players, assigned five of its lawyers to help Oklahoma overturn President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, intended to combat climate change. The law firm did not charge Oklahoma anything for the work, Mr. Pruitt’s office confirmed.
David B. Rivkin Jr., the lead attorney from BakerHostetler who handled the matter, said that the work was considered charitable, similar to when major law firms give free legal advice to inmates at the Guantánamo Bay military prison.
Official: Trump wants to slash EPA workforce, budget
WASHINGTON (AP) - The former head of President Donald Trump's transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he expects the new administration to seek significant budget and staff cuts. Myron Ebell said in an interview with The Associated Press that Trump is likely to seek significant reductions to the agency's workforce - currently about 15,000 employees nationwide. Ebell, who left the transition team last week, declined to discuss specific numbers of EPA staff that could be targeted for pink slips. Asked what he would personally like to see, however, Ebell said slashing the agency's size by about half would be a good start.
[That's a generic link to their front page; the stuff scrolls; there is no Ebell there. But it is generic content; there's another cut-n-paste at http://time.com/4651407/trump-wants-to-slash-the-epas-workforce-and-bud….
You seem to have missed the interesting bit: " The former head of President Donald Trump's transition team".
I think you are doomed to fail to understand him -W]