By Chris Kahn and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Matthew Lewis
17 January 2017
(Reuters) – More than 60 percent of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's powers preserved or strengthened under incoming President Donald Trump, and the drilling of oil on public lands to hold steady or drop, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
The results could foretell stronger-than-expected public opposition to Trump's plans to boost energy development by slashing environmental regulations, an agenda shared by some of his top Cabinet picks slated for Senate confirmation hearings later this week. Trump takes office on Friday.
Some 39 percent of Americans would like to see the EPA, the nation's top environmental regulator, "strengthened or expanded," while another 22 percent hope for it to "remain the same," according to the poll. Just 19 percent said they would like to see the agency "weakened or eliminated" and the rest said they "don't know."
Among Republicans, 47 percent wish for the EPA either to "remain the same" or be "strengthened or expanded," while 35 percent want it "weakened or eliminated".
The online poll of 9,935 people was conducted Dec. 16 to Jan. 12 and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 1.1 percentage points. […]
A Trump transition team official declined to comment.
Trump campaigned on a promise to drastically reduce environmental regulations in order to create jobs and pave the way for more oil, gas, and coal development. He has said he would refocus the EPA on its core mission to protect air and water quality. [more]
By Dominique Mosbergen
17 January 2017
(The Huffington Post) – President-elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his hostility toward the Environmental Protection Agency. He has repeatedly called for its elimination, telling Fox News in 2015 that the environment would be just “fine” without it.
Activists say Trump has followed through on those threats in nominating Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, a man who has sued the agency 13 times as Oklahoma’s attorney general. Pruitt, a climate change denier with close ties to the fossil fuel industry, has a long record of attacking the EPA and undermining environmental regulations. On his LinkedIn page, Pruitt refers to himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
“During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly threatened to dismantle the EPA and roll back many of the gains made to reduce Americans’ exposures to industrial pollution, and with Pruitt, the president-elect would make good on those threats,” said Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington research and advocacy organization. “It’s a safe assumption that Pruitt could be the most hostile EPA administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history.”
The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment by issuing regulations and enforcing the nation’s environmental laws. Under President Barack Obama, the EPA created the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut carbon pollution from power plants. It also issued new guidance for the Clean Water Act to protect thousands of waterways and wetlands, and introduced measures to limit emissions from heavy-duty trucks and reduce smog and mercury emissions from industrial sources. [more]