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Republicans Introduce Bill to "Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency"

09 February 2017

Not wanting to beat around the bush, the bill is actually called the bill "to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency" - a pretty straightforward name that shows how the winds are changing in Washington.

Around 30 employees at EPA's Chicago office joined a protest organized by the Sierra Club and the American Federation of Government Employees to protest Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's nomination.

The former officials said Pruitt "has gone to disturbing lengths to advance the views and interests of business" - a reference to his close ties to the fossil fuel industry, with which he often has sided in his cases against the EPA. "To better protect the environment we should abolish the EPA and downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection", he wrote in a Facebook post on February 2.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

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Congressional Republicans and the Trump White house are poised to open up several new fronts in their assault on Obama-era environmental policies, with new planning regulations and the very existence of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now in the GOP's crosshairs. But in the Trump administration, the threat must be taken seriously. "Time and again, I've seen constituents unknowingly subject themselves to the oppressive jurisdiction of the EPA by doing simple things". "No agency has more integrity when it comes to using science and being transparent than the EPA". It is not known if current rules would be overseen by a different agency or if they would be repealed.

Enck signed Monday's letter because Trump's choice of Pruitt "is an unprecedented assault on environmental protection", she said, "not just on EPA as an agency, but on our country's ability to enjoy clean air, clean water and a logical agenda on climate change". In an email obtained by The Huffington Post, Gaetz clarified that "as conservatives, we must understand that states and local communities are best positioned to responsibly regulate the environmental assets within their jurisdictions".

The bill is unlikely to pass through Congress, but it highlights the scale of the antipathy towards the EPA amongst many Republican lawmakers.