Monday, April 9, 2018

Scott Pruitt: secure in his sound-proof world

Does Nino hold Scott Pruitt's hand on plane flights?

We know now that Pruitt, has demanded that a special agent sit next to him in first-class in his many travels.

For that awesome task, he summoned retired special agent Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta. This in addition to a team of 20 agents scattered elsewhere in the plane and serving in his shadow 24 hours a day.

You'd think the man was Elvis, actually bigger.

Every day more emerges about the EPA that should offend a normal person's sensibilities. "Normal," of course, excludes Donald Trump, who has defended Pruitt, in spite of a raft of ethics atrocities.

The latest is the $3 million of your tax dollars Pruitt spent on his personal security detail, having tripled the security for someone in his position to a 20-person ear-bud contingent.

You have heard that Pruitt was flagged for charging taxpayers, like yourself, for international and domestic flights of specious intent, like trips back to his home state of Oklahoma and the far reaches of Morocco. . . Morocco?

Add to those plane tickets the cost of transporting Team "Nino" – headed by Perrotta, who sounds like a movie character whose suit smells like haddock. He advertises his specialty as a "threat analysis" and, gulp, "mitigation."

Perrotta advised on sweeping Pruitt's office for listening devices and installing a $43,000 sound-proof "secure communications booth" there.

Yes, Scott Pruitt feels comfortable in his own skin -- with a layer of Plexiglas between his skin and reality – reality like climate change and the consensus of EPA scientists.

Now, understand Pruitt's paranoia: He heads an agency formed to protect the environment, populated with people hired to protect the environment, and he's devoted himself to wrecking both – the agency and the environment.

He's literally made his bed with industry, as with the almost-free lobbyist-owned Washington apartment he was using until whistle-blowers notified you and me through the media.

We hear from more than one EPA insider that Pruitt asked to use the emergency sirens to get through Washington traffic. Oh, Scotty, in such a hurry to destroy what you were assigned to "protect."

We shouldn't be surprised that Trump doesn't want to fire Pruitt, though bipartisan support has emerged to do just that.

No one better epitomizes and carries out the Vendetta Politics of the Trump Era, targeting any policy with a hint of his predecessor's after-shave and eviscerating it.

A perfect example of this is the fuel standards the Obama administration negotiated with automakers as part of the industry rescue. Pruitt has said he's looking at revoking them.

These concessions are slated to average fleet efficiency by a stunning 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, something that's going to accomplish many important objectives – less pollution, less oil used, lower fuel prices, less spent on filling gas tanks.

Indeed, an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the average household could miss out on nearly $28,000 in fuel savings by 2030 should Pruitt get his way.

The group found that the standards Obama put in place, with the cooperation of the industry, have saved $58 billion in fuel costs since 2012.

            Of course, Pruitt, as with Nino Perrotta, he of the soft, fish-house hands, is just doing what his boss wants.

The Denver Post, editorially blasting Pruitt's fuel-efficiency proposals for all of the above reasons, wrote, "Perhaps the best hope is that Pruitt's scandals will catch up with him" and he'll get ousted.

Sorry, editorialists. Pruitt is doing the bidding of the revenge-driven man in the White House, the most corrupt and least ethical individual ever to hold his position. Whoever Trump chooses to do the job will continue to "do a job" on the EPA.

Maybe he'll just hand it off to Nino.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:


No comments: