Can This Republican Restore Integrity to Pruitt’s EPA?

Thursday, 09 November 2017, 11:50:22 PM. Pete Lopez is a Trump political appointee, and he's responsible for Puerto Rico’s environmental cleanup. But he's actually qualified for the job.
President Donald Trump has turned the Environmental Protection Agency into a department at war with its core mission. His pick to run the agency, Scott Pruitt, relentlessly sued the EPA as Oklahoma’s attorney general, has close ties with polluting companies, and denies climate science. Pruitt’s deputy is a former coal lobbyist. An official overseeing chemical safety was a chemical industry lobbyist; the person nominated to be her boss has been a consultant to chemical companies for many years. The person nominated to enforce anti-pollution laws was an attorney and lobbyist who defended polluters. The new Region 4 administrator was a lobbyist for business interests that fight against pollution regulations. The list goes on and on. So it was slightly surprising when, earlier this month, the EPA announced that Pete Lopez, a Republican and former member of the New York State Assembly, would be the next administrator of Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight tribal nations. Unlike nearly all of Trump and Pruitt’s political appointees, Lopez has no personal interests in the success of fossil fuels or chemicals, according to his financial disclosures. He minored in environmental studies in college. He consistently gets around a 70 out of 100 on the New York State Environmental Scorecard, which tracks lawmakers’ voting records. He believes in environmental justice, the concept that minorities are disproportionately affected by...Read more
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