Industry takeover of the EPA includes an Arkansas appointment | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Industry takeover of the EPA includes an Arkansas appointment

Posted By on Sat, Nov 4, 2017 at 7:16 AM

click to enlarge CLEANING HOUSE: Scott Pruitt at EPA. - GETTY IMAGES
  • Getty images
  • CLEANING HOUSE: Scott Pruitt at EPA.
There was an Arkansas angle in EPA boss Scott Pruitt's upending of the board of scientific counselors that advises the agency.

Robert Blanz, the chief technical officer for the state Department of Environmental Quality, was among those named.  The appointment was praised by Sen. John Boozman in the Democrat-Gazette. He said Blanz, who spent 27 years in private industry before his state career, balanced the environment with economic interests.

We understand well that delicate balance in Arkansas environmental regulation. It's an understanding that leads to hog feeding factories in the Buffalo River watershed. It's an understanding that leads the director of ADEQ, extraction industry veteran Becky Keogh, to refuse to talk to the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission about a landfill disaster. It leads to the proud fact that Arkansas, more than 40 years after passage of the federal Clean Water Act is one of only two states that has failed to establish a rule to provide protection for the most important waterways. We know how to balance environmental and economic interests. That foul odor? Smells like money here in Arkansas.

There's been quite a bit of coverage of Pruitt's ouster of scientists in favor of industry representatives (and some state regulators) on the advisory board. This report in The Hill captures the flavor of the group Blanz will be joining.

There will be reps from Phillips 66, the Southern Co. and the North Dakota Petroleum Council. The article also notes:

Some of the new advisers have controversial scientific views, including one who believes air quality is too clean for children, while the new members include multiple climate change skeptics.
...

Tony Cox, the new head of the clean air committee, runs a consulting firm serving oil and chemical clients. He has published research questioning whether recent reductions in pollutants like fine particulate matter and ozone yields health benefits, which runs contrary to the EPA’s position.

Robert Phalen of the University of California, Irvine is a new science board member. He has argued that current air quality in the United States is too clean for “optimum health.”
Search hard enough and they probably could find an agriculture industry representative who'd discourage cleaning up too much pig poop from scenic waters.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders: No thanks for your Thanksgiving shtick

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Donald Trump's press secretary, is getting tabbed a hectoring bully (just like her boss) after her Thanksgiving week shtick. In a performance often dripping with disdain, she demanded that reporters give thanks for something before being allowed to ask her a question.
  • The Thanksgiving eve open line

    Here's an open line. And a batch of headlines for the day before Thanksgiving.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation