Clean Air Watch

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Scott Pruitt: Beware the Lessons of History — and Read up on Anne Gorsuch Burford

President-Elect Trump’s appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency vividly brings back to mind an equally controversial EPA head from a different era.  

Thirty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan appointed Anne Gorsuch to run the agency.  Like Trump, Reagan had inveighed against what he viewed as excessive federal regulation.  

''Government is not the solution to our problem,'' President Reagan told the nation in his first inaugural address.  ''Government is the problem.’'  And a prime target was the EPA, which, among other things, had set national smog standards detested by the oil industry.  

Enter Anne Gorsuch.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

R.I.P. Leon G. Billings, Legislative Lion and Backstage Author of Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

Clean Air Watch is most sad to report the passing of our former boss and colleague, Leon G. Billings, who suffered a stroke earlier this week.  You may recall he recently co-authored a piece we published here Setting the Record Straight on Clean Air .

He was a true legislative lion -- and in many respects author of so much of modern environmental policy that has come under recent attack. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.

Friday, November 11, 2016

UPDATE: Trump transition guy withdraws over lobbying restrictions

[This earlier post has been updated, below.]

As we all know the transition is in full swing. It caught our eye that one of the key figures — Michael Catanzaro — has been tasked with the “energy independence” portfolio.

He is being described, correctly, as an energy “lobbyist.”  http://nyti.ms/2eKpUmV

But he is much more: He has worked for Senator Inhofe, former House Speaker Boehner, and even as a a political appointee within the Bush EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  http://bit.ly/2fXf56T and http://bit.ly/2g2NGiT and http://bit.ly/2fE3wgT

(You will note he cut his D.C. teeth as a reporter for the late “Prince of Darkness,” Robert Novak.)

Clean Air Watch likely would not agree with him on much.   But don’t write him off as a mere lobbyist or underestimate his understanding of D.C.

UPDATE: Catanzaro withdrew because of Trump lobbying restrictions, according to Politico http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2016/11/lobbyists-leave-trump-transition-team-ethics-rule-231641

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Learn more about the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.