In case you missed it: Delayed by law from scrapping the Obama administration Clean Water Rule, the Trump administration has come up with a workaround a delay of the Waters of the U.S. Rule.

I’m surprised Attorney General Leslie Rutledge didn’t send a staffer in over the weekend to hail this move, a pro-pollution move that has been urged by farming and business interests and, it follows, Republican politicians in Arkansas.

This is the work of Scutt Pruitt, the EPA administrator working to neuter root-and-branch efforts to promote clean air and water, with enablers in Republican attorney general offices around the country. Once again it’s worth a reminder that nominal Democrat Dustin McDaniel, the former attorney general, threw in with Rutledge in praising Pruitt as an EPA leader.

The Vox article links at the start now the Obama administration relied on scientific input to determine which bodies of water should be covered by clean water rules, a situation that was confused. There were exemptions for agricultural operations, but it didn’t stop fierce complaints. But it has been convenient to brand it as government overreach, facts notwithstanding.


There IS a shred of good news out of EPA. Pruitt intends to withdraw the nomination of Kathleeen Hartnett White as administrator of the Council on Environmental Quality. She’s a climate change denier who’s said carbon dioxide should be called the “gas of life” rather than a pollutant. But he’s still pushing Andrew Wheeler for deputy administrator of the EPA. Of course. He’s a coal industry lobbyist. And he’s got a tobacco and chemicals apologist, Michael Dourson, in line for the EPA toxics henhouse.