Maybe it was the $43,000 soundproof booth. Maybe it was the mattress. Maybe it was aides picking up his hotel tabs and reportedly not being refunded for their out-of-pocket expenses. Call it Scott Pruitt’s high-maintenance sense of entitlement.

Which is a shame for those who agree on the changes he made to EPA policy. And a blessing to those who, like Democrat Senator Tom Carper (Delaware), feel that Pruitt’s time at the EPA:

has been marked by blatant rejections of sound science, proposals to undermine our country’s bedrock environmental protections and consistent efforts to personally profit off of public service.

Because he rolled back some of the EPA’s far-reaching regulations, he is considered a villain and a front for lobbyists who were looking for someone to listen to their worries about how the agency’s regulations hurt their ability to do business, or at times, to even be in business at all.

The Clean Power Plan. The Clean Water Rule. These were burdensome statist attempts to force businesses and property owners to behave in specific ways. A more-than-gentle nudge. So, Pruitt’s dismantling of these programs earned him enemies from the get go.

But he did he have to be so spectacularly venal? If there was one Cabinet Secretary who should have remained above the fray, it was Pruitt, seeing he had a target on his back from day one. He unable to be discrete and reasonable in his behavior, as Laura Ingraham stated:

If you want to drain the swamp, you’ve got to have people in it who forgo personal benefits, and don’t send your aides around doing personal errands on the taxpayer dime. Otherwise, you make everybody else look bad.

Yes, and you give a perfect excuse to those environmental activists who despise your policy agenda. They can point out your indiscretions and say: what did you expect? The guy is pro-business! He’s evil!

The President was careful to praise Pruitt’s achievements in terms of regulation rollback while being cautious on his EPA chief’s political future. That’s been decided for now, but it remains to be seen if the next head of the EPA is a more tactful politician who essentially follows the same agenda, or if they succumb to the pressure from progressive environmentalists and start to undo the rollbacks.

Key among those initiatives is Pruitt’s science transparency initiative that proposes shedding more light on the scientific methodology used in areas like global climate change. Environmentalists would love to undo that initiative and return to the good old cataclysmic warnings of impending doom. Watch for them to push for a rollback of the transparency in science initiative. Let’s hope they don’t manage to get the EPA to pullback on that one. Transparency on methodology is an area of reform that Pruitt, despite his scandals, should be applauded for.

Of course, they’re wont’ be much clapping for him as he heads to the door, but he did get a few things right.

Comments