"One Environmental Protection Agency employee spoke up at a private lunch held near the agency headquarters, saying she feared the nation might be headed toward an “environmental catastrophe.” Another staff member, from Seattle, sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, raising similar concerns about the direction of the agency. A third, from Philadelphia, went to a rally where he protested against agency budget cuts."
The CDC has apparently banned seven politically incorrect words and phrases, including “science-based," from budget documents. And a no-bid media contract for the EPA may include opposition research on agency employees. That, plus a climate tweet reprimand and more, in the latest edition of WatchDog.
As President Trump continues to fill environment and energy leadership positions in 2018, one source of stories will be potential conflicts of interest for appointed regulators and agency leaders. This week's TipSheet runs down more than 20 key appointments to watch at EPA, Interior, Ag, Energy and more.
"One of the top executives of a consulting firm that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently hired to help it with media affairs has spent the past year investigating agency employees who have been critical of the Trump administration, federal records show."
"The Senate Commerce Committee voted Wednesday to move forward with the nomination of Barry Myers to be head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)."
"Previously accused of sabotaging the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Steven Gardner is now likely to be its next chief."
"The Great War began in 1914 with cavalrymen on horseback and ended four years later with armored tanks and airplanes. It was, as one scholar put it, the 'first war to run on oil.' To ensure a steady flow of fuel, petroleum executives met regularly with federal officials in Standard Oil’s oak-paneled boardroom on Wall Street. The same industry broken up as an illegal monopoly in 1911 had become a quasi-arm of government."
"The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general will investigate how it decided to spend more than $25,000 installing a secure, soundproof communications booth in the office of Administrator Scott Pruitt."
Almost a dozen investigations are underway at the U.S. EPA and the Interior Department, including of unusual travel, private sector connections and staff/advisory panel moves. This week's TipSheet runs down the probes in detail, and offers resources for coverage of developments in 2018.
"U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has picked Anne Idsal, a well-connected Texas state official, to lead the agency's Region 6 office."