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Scott Pruitt’s Reformation


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The challenge at the EPA is deeper than policy.

Des Moines, Iowa — Scott Pruitt likes coffee. Seriously likes it. He’s all riled up and hopped up and caffeinated and talking 100 mph in front of a group of rural electrical co-op officers in Iowa and if we’re all telling the truth here seeming just a little bit overstimulated this midmorning in Des Moines when he stops to intone the praises of the glorious steaming cup of coffee he’s holding in his hand, obtained from a Scenic Route Bakery down the road. “The problem is that I keep talking, so I don’t get to drink it, and I have to keep heating it up.” And talk and talk he does, letting his coffee go tepid again, intoning his speech with a lawyer’s emphasis on certain words that crop up repeatedly in his description of his mission as the Trump administration’s EPA boss: ephemeral and intermittent, for all those drainage ditches and pasture puddles the Obama administration insisted were Waters of the United States — “WOTUS” for short; fanciful, for this and other interpretations of federal statute; and two words that he will repeatedly arrange in opposition to describe what he’s up to and the fundamental conflict of visions that is the reason he is (perhaps second after Betsy DeVos) the member of the Trump team who gets most irritatingly up Democrats’ noses: stewardship and prohibition.:snip:

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