Pruitt confirmed

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anonymous_coward
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Pruitt confirmed

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/17/scott-pruitt-epa-...

Collins opposed, Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted in favor.

Edit: McCain declined to make it to the vote, had other stuff to do:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/john-mccain-scott-pruitt-vote-235113

Moving Forward
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It's great to see Team Trump

It's great to see Team Trump taking steps forward for our country, although at a very slow pace because of the progressive obstructionists.

God bless our USA!

Watcher
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Not only Progressive/Liberal

Not only Progressive/Liberal/Swine are impeding progress. The GOP (Geriatric Old Putz) McCain is trying to become a full-fledged schmuck. He is too old to be nothing but a hindrance to a free America...a useful idiot, as it were.

Matt
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Yah! How dare he criticize

Yah! How dare he criticize the president! And he was captured! I like people who weren't captured.

And people who got multiple deferments for bone spurs.

Your president is an despicable asshat of an embarrassment.

Bruce Libby
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If one is resourceful and

If one is resourceful and really researched the truth ,one could explore the senators flying career.
The senators acclaim is his heroic survival as a POW.
But you won't do that because it might change your view.

KennyRoberts
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Matt writes, Your president

Matt writes, Your president is an despicable asshat of an embarrassment.

I understand your defense of Senator McCain. I bet it would be near impossible for McCain to lose an election in Maine, southern Maine that is, or win one in northern Maine. He isn't the type of man we generally vote for up here.

Your comment about President Trump really baffles me. I see the man as an extraordinarily wise chess player
who is flushing out his cowardly enemies while endearing himself to the people. The man is a boss. I wholeheartedly approve of his first three weeks of service to our nation. I have no clue what is eating you.

Al Amoling
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He's a cupcake.

He's a cupcake.

anonymous_coward
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"I see the man as an

"I see the man as an extraordinarily wise chess player who is flushing out his cowardly enemies while endearing himself to the people."

Yeah, I don't quite get that, he's made too many mistakes to be a wise chess player.

He understands the media and his base better than anyone (especially the establishment Republicans) but he obviously doesn't know how to get things done in Washington yet, and he's way over his head in the international stage.

But, the thing is, he could literally do nothing over the next 4 years - get stymied by the Dems & his GOP "swing vote" (Collins, McCain, Murkowski, and maybe Rubio and a few others) - and just blame his enemies and come out of the whole thing immensely popular with his base.

His base would rather see him fight and lose than be conciliatory and get things done. (Please, any Trump supporters, correct me if I'm wrong here.)

Bruce Libby
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I would say you are incorrect

I would say you are incorrect only because you seem to not allow fodifferences in the"base".
Your Washington assessment at this point is IMO premature. The cold hard truth is what gets done is usually inadequate
and counter productive at this point in first days of new administration. Those who are critics in office have almost universally done themselves more harm than good. Everybody seems to be in various states of shock from loss of election, electoral win not popular and seeing a new style
in that office. Kind of ironic as we have witnessed the same thing here in Maine 6 years ago. From experience those who have questions /
concerns will probably reserve comment until better evidence is available or the consumption of crow starts. Usually does.
Internationally , willing to wait and see. At this point those he has allegedly pissed off probably still take the aid.

Claudius
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The point is that Trump

The point is that Trump appointed somebody totally hostile to the EPA to the position.

Because as we all know, we should just eliminate the EPA! It hasn't accomplished anything to improve our quality of life. I mean, I loved that the Cuyahoga river was ignited from sparks from a passing train and the industrial waste on it burned. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS! CONSERVATISM RULES!!!

Mark T. Cenci
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There's a groundwater

There's a groundwater scientist named Jay Lehr who recently wrote an opinion piece about EPA. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/23/jay-h-lehr-beginning-...

I recommend it.

He was there at the beginning and has worked at the uppermost levels of pollution studies, remediation efforts and public policy.

He would not support your platitudes. I don't either.

And yes Lehr was released from the national water well association in the 90s for some sort of billing errors/fraud, but that has nothing to do with his observations of how best to run the EPA

Environmentalist true believers always smear him with this, but it works both ways. If he is a phony, then it was a phony who was instrumental in setting up much of the EPA in the earliest days and testifying before Congress to help them do so.

Just review what he proposes.

Bruce Libby
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The funny thing here u stye

The funny thing here is criticism based on his actions as AG. I have found nothing that says he did these suits based on just his opinion or views.
As an AG one can assume he was representing the states based on some concern that affected the state. How many did he win ?

Claudius
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@Mark T. Cenci

@Mark T. Cenci

I won't "smear" him but I will state that your characterization of his fraud is misleading. He was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for defrauding the EPA and his organization was fined $200,000.

I will say that his observations in that article are jaw-dropping in absurdity. For example, he states, "EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems." This is just patently false. I challenge you to find examples of how EPA regulations made environmental issues worse.

Even crazier is this statement: "By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.” This is, again, just insane. It does not correspond with reality.

The truth is that measures such Clean Air Act that reduce levels of fine particles and ozone clearly prevent deaths. For example, EPA regulations in the Clean Air act have been estimated (in a peer-reviewed article) to reduce 160,000 deaths in 2010 from ambient particulate matter. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There is A LOT of evidence that shows that the EPA saves lives.

Lehr suggests that the EPA's functions would be taken over by the states. But this clearly makes no sense. Unless states have passed equivalent measures to the Clean Air Act (which we both know would never happen) then states would have no mandate to control things such as particulate matter in the air.

What I don't get (and which I would love to have explained to me) is why conservatives think that these obvious benefits are less important than making polluting industries able to make larger profits.

For example, the recent regulation that Trump just eliminated would have kept the coal industry from polluting waterways. The Interior Department estimates that compliance with this regulation would cost the coal industries an estimates $81 million dollars, amounting to less than 0.1 percent of its aggregate revenues.

But those revenues are more important than clean air and water, I suppose.

Mark T. Cenci
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no Lehr is not insane and

no Lehr is not insane and what he proposes is workable. He is incredibly well educated in science, particularly in water and groundwater issues, and has seen decades of regulatory successes and limitations.

Like all pro govt extremists you hold out perfection as the goal to defeat any reform, but what we have now is not perfection.

We don't need written regulations of all conceivable human activity. We need certain standards, determined at the local and state level and perhaps the federal level and a federal tort process for states to hold each other accountable.

And again, if he is as despicable as you say, then we never should have followed his advice when he was working to set up agency protocols. Can't have it both ways.

Mark T. Cenci
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You don't know that the

You don't know that the stricken rules would have done any such thing. I deal with environmental rules all the time that purport to accomplish wonderful things but don't do a damn thing except cost people time and money

Only 0.1 percent of revenues? That is so meaningless. You take the revenue of an entire industry but the costs are borne by each company.

How much of the profit? How much of the profit of the small companies trying to compete against the giants?

It's your love of the regulatory state that suggests insanity

Claudius
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@Mark T. Cenci

@Mark T. Cenci

I didn't say Lehr is insane. I said that his statements were absurd. I stand by my assertion that statements that the EPA is the cause of the nation's environmental problems is absolutely nonsense.

I can't understand why you would call somebody an "pro govt extremist" when I am simply suggesting that regulations such as the Clean Air Act saves lives. I would suggest that it is extreme to stop enforcing such laws.

Nobody is suggesting regulating "all conceivable human activity." Who is suggesting that? I'm simply saying that the EPA's enforcement of federal law is necessary to protect human life and ensure environmental quality for future generations. I personally consider it a moral imperative to protect my children's future environment.

I didn't say he was despicable but rather simply corrected your whitewash of this person's record. But I also reject the idea that I shouldn't be able to evaluate the quality of this guy's thinking when it fails to make sense.

Claudius
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@ Mark T. Cenci

@ Mark T. Cenci

I don't know what you mean when you say "You don't know that the stricken rules would have done any such thing." Can you explain what you meant?

Can you give an example of an environmental rule that purports to accomplish wonderful things but doesn't do a "damn thing"? It would be nice to have something concrete to talk about.

You are right that I have no way of knowing what the individual cost to each coal company would be. I think we might just have to disagree at this point. I am of the opinion that the cost of doing business for any industry should be not to contaminate waterways for future generations.

Mark T. Cenci
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Reliance on the regulatory

Reliance on the regulatory state leads to all human activity being regulated. I'm not saying that is what you want, but it is what you get. All bureaucracies become committed to serving themselves. And there is always something needing policing because perfection is always eluding us.

I was remembering work I did in the 90s doing municipal landfill closures in Oxford County. Hysteria about pollution prompted democrats in Augusta to push through legislation closing all landfills. Bureaucrats loved it. Consultants hired to collect info on contract with the state loved it.

What I learned was that some of these landfills were totally benign. No pollution coming from them and some were located in excellent places where contaminants would harm no people and were bio cleaning and diluting into rivers very effectively.

But one size fits all regulation held sway. Were the local citizens better served by closure ? The expense? The millions of hours they've since spent recycling things at a market loss? The expense of hauling trash to the incinerator and the ash to norridgewock? I don't know.

But that's what we've got

Mark T. Cenci
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You have faith that the rules

You have faith that the rules trump eliminated would actually help things. Why? Did you hear that from a bureaucrat who's livelihood depends on administering them?

All kinds of rules and procedures make things worse or accomplish little for the expense and bother. Maines vernal pool rules are an example. They are a death sentence to amphibians in many instances because landowners now go out and remove the eggs they find for fear of being punished financially through loss of land use rights.

Methods of rewarding landowners for habitat protection would be better

Claudius
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@Mark T. Cenci

@Mark T. Cenci

This is pretty interesting thinking. I disagree with the characterization that I have a "reliance" on the regulatory state. I think that government is the only mechanism through which a society can, for example, ensure clean air and water. I totally disagree with the idea that the free market, for example, would be anywhere as near as effective in regulating clean air as government regulations. How would the free market protect public goods like air and water?

Your example is a pretty interesting example, too. The regulation you are referring to is an example of a state regulation, which Lehr supports in his article. But that's a different point.

I look at your point about landfills being "totally benign" as being pretty improbable. Leachate from landfills, for example, contains organic and inorganic pollutants, including benzene, ammonia, dioxins, PCBs, heavy metals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. I suspect much of that doesn't dilute into rivers easily. But since I don't know the specific place I can't comment much on it.

Claudius
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Did I hear that from a

Did I hear that from a bureaucrat? No, just reading things other than Breitbart.

Obama's regulation (that Trump rescinded) would have placed regulations on where new permits could be issued for placing excess spoil in waterways based on their potential for surface water contamination. It would have reduced the occurence of acid mine runoff.

Defined by the Environmental Protection Agency:

"Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. This acidic water forms through the chemical reaction of surface water (rainwater, snowmelt, pond water) and shallow subsurface water with rocks that contain sulfur-bearing minerals, resulting in sulfuric acid. Heavy metals can be leached from rocks that come in contact with the acid, a process that may be substantially enhanced by bacterial action. The resulting fluids may be highly toxic and, when mixed with groundwater, surface water and soil, may have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants."

You have some mighty strange logic in your post, too. Seems like the hazard for amphibians isn't so much the regulations as it is jerks who would rather kill off the animals on their property than be responsible for them. Regulation is necessary exactly for those people who see temporary profit as more important than being a good neighbor or good steward.

Paying property owners for being responsible owners of their land is nonsensical in several instances. Most obviously this is true when the potential benefit or profit from environmental destruction is greater than what the government can offer. Secondly, this is also true when the damage is to public goods, such as air or water.

Mark T. Cenci
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No some landfills in little

No some landfills in little oxford county towns had none of that. Sodium and calcium levels were high. Big deal. Stop thinking in terms of one size fits all.

Again you seem to think that being Federal equates to being of superior quality. Regulation is regulation and not all contingencies and possibilities can be envisioned by the authors of the regulations.

Super fund and RCRA regs are a good example. The regulatory regimen was established before the science of groundwater contamination matured. After billions have been spent studying the pollution and trying to clean it up, it is becoming apparent that often leaving it to move on it's own and clean up naturally as best it can is the best we can hope for.

Mark T. Cenci
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Not everyone has a nice

Not everyone has a nice income and a retirement package Claudius. Or a trust fund from their capitalist forefathers. Some people have only the land they inherited and live in a hostile world of black hearted do gooders. They aren't greedy, they are desperate. Maybe a little more Breitbart and a little less enviro propaganda will help you.

I never said landowners would be paid. There's no money for that. But they could be rewarded with reductions in minimum lot size or road frontage requirements etc.

If people really cared for other people that is

Claudius
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If all someone has is what

If all someone has is what they've inherited, then I think that they would understand the importance of leaving something behind for others. After all, they didn't earn what they have but rather have been given a gift, right? Just like all of us who live on this planet. They have a responsibility to their neighbors just as we all do.

But the vernal pool thing is a bit of a red herring. The 250 ft protection zone is not much of a regulatory burden.

Your comments about landowners rewarded with reductions in minimum lot size, etc. doesn't quite address our issue of protecting lives through the EPA or preventing the coal industry from polluting waterways.

But this thread is about Pruitt. If Trump's rule on the coal industry is any indication, the environmental protections we need to protect our health and safety will be significantly diminished. And you should be pissed about that "If people really cared for other people that is."

Mark T. Cenci
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A little knowledge is a

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You are so totally wrong about the 250 foot radius. It can be a devastating restriction.

Keep writing about how others should sacrifice for your sake. You are revealing a lot. And you are so full of platitudes. Not much time spent on the means streets eh Claudius?

I'm still not convinced the eliminated rules are effective and that includes cost effectiveness. Maybe they are. Maybe it is an instance of influential people getting their way with regulators. There's plenty of that in your preferred system. Environmental protection agencies are really pollution permitting agencies. And sometimes the heaviest hand comes down on the littlest guy.

You are right about the commons being ruined. Private property and torts is one way to help with that, but govt does have a role in protecting the commons.

johnw
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I'm always amazed by the

I'm always amazed by the progressives assumption that those of us who have owned land and paid the taxes on it for generations are somehow incapable of being good stewards of that land without their omnipotent guidance. That we don't practice good logging ,farming practices or create and maintain wildlife habitat...... .
.I have a scenic outlook on my property that literally thousands of people have snowmobiled , four wheeled, hiked to to enjoy ....they have thanked me for keeping my property open to the public .Most Maine landowners I know are more than willing to share their bounty with others, I do, but as the giverment encroaches more and more on my ability to determine what I do with my land that might change...
These are the same thinkers who took over our education system, health care and national security.....Needless regulations have consequences...

Roger Ek
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The reason that

The reason that environmentalists like Maine so much is that those of us who own it have taken such good care of it for the last few centuries.

Bruce Libby
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Wasn't' there just a little

Wasn't' there just a little bit of the past, that might have contributed to the rise of environmentalism ?

johnw
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Bruce you are 100% correct

Bruce you are 100% correct there is no doubt that there needed to be regulation of the hazards that industry and over population created....... I think anyone can see the clear benefits , as an example the Androscoggin River now and thirty years ago, but when you start turning an old skidder rut into a vernal pool........or holding up a clean and renewal hydroelectric project over some incredibly insignificant bug or slug or you create a "bouquet" of 32 or more blends of gasoline across the country,things have gone a little too far.....The EPA has become about enforcing the agenda of the radical eco fascists....Ask any road construction company , every wet spot where there needs to be a culvert laid becomes an environmental investigation....Hopefully Pruitt returns a little balance back to the picture.

Bruce Libby
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johnw

johnw
We'll said ,as one who grew up in Brunswick it was easy to see the
river then. I agree on the silly regulations that resulted from the hysteria
that grew out of the legitimate things that needed corrected.

Melvin Udall
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250' setback equals about 5

250' setback equals about 5 acres, right?

Yeah...that's pretty trivial.

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