Just like Breathing. Scotty Pruitt is a Natural Liar

April 18, 2017

This is what a liar looks like.

Washington Post:

President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change.

Speaking with “Fox & Friends,” Pruitt commented, “Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion.”

“It’s a bad deal for America,” Pruitt continued. “It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.”

Pruitt’s claim about China and India having “no obligations” until 2030 is incorrect  while these countries do indeed have 2030 targets, they are already acting now to reduce their emissions by investing in renewable energy and other initiatives.


On Thursday, EPA head Scott Pruitt visited the Harvey Mine, a coal mine in western Pennsylvania, to regurgitate some of his favorite talking points—that the EPA is an unhinged, anti-coal agency that he’s reining in through systematic self-destruction. Pruitt promised the “regulatory assault” on coal was over, saying the EPA will be protecting the environment “the American way,” and insinuating a return to the glory days of American coal production circa 1958.

It was an impressive day of half-truths, distortions and lies, ironically undercut by Pruitt’s venue of choice. You see, Harvey Mine’s owner, Consol Energy, is trying to exit the long-failing coal industry. Citing Bloomberg, the New Republic pointed out that Consol Energy CEO, Nicholas Deiuliis, sees short-term benefits to deregulation, but doesn’t think loosening up pollution restrictions is enough to save coal:

[Deiuliis] acknowledged that a relaxation of regulations on mining and carbon emissions under the Trump administration would help coal. But not enough to persuade Consol to stay in it. If anything, the optimism injected into the coal sector by the election result and the re-emergence of large miners from bankruptcy … simply provides a window to offload the business.

The consensus among energy experts and economists is that competition from natural gas and green energy sources like solar and wind power, which are cleaner than coal and whose costs are falling rapidly, is having a much greater impact on the mining industry than environmental regulation. That doesn’t stop Pruitt from promising that by relaxing restrictions on carbon pollution and toxins like mercury, he and Trump can revive the industry.

“The past administration said we had to choose between the environment and job growth,” Pruitt said to the miners. “This administration says the opposite.”

One of Trump and Pruitt’s main Obama-era regulatory targets is the Clean Power Plan, a rule that mandates states curb power sector carbon emissions. While Pruitt and others blamed the CPP for layoffs in the mining industry, the architect of the plan previously explained to Gizmodo that the shift away from coal was happening long before the CPP enacted. It certainly makes sense that overzealous regulations could lead to job losses, but when it comes to the CPP and coal, it’s simply a lie.

Also Thursday, Pruitt said during a “Fox and Friends” appearance that he believed the US should exit the Paris Climate Agreement, an international agreement between 147 countries to lower carbon emissions, because “China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.”

That’s also a lie.

As part of its commitment to the Paris agreement, China projected 2030 as the year its emissions will peak, continuously declining thereafter as clean energy continues to boom. But it’s absurd to insinuate that they have “no obligations” over the next decade. China is the world’s largest carbon emitter, and peaking emissions in only 15 years is an enormous undertaking, requiring a massive restructuring of the energy consumption habits of over a billion people.

And China is actually ahead of its goals. Because while Pruitt insinuates that China gets to take it easy for a decade before committing to Paris in earnest, China is accelerating the transition off fossil fuels, recently cutting 500,000 coal and steel jobs across the country and setting global recordsfor investments in renewable energy sources.

So does Pruitt simply misunderstand the language of the Paris agreement, or is he intentionally distorting semantics to bolster his narrative?

Pruitt’s war on regulation rests comfortably on these sorts of half-truths, but, when this long-awaited resurrection of the coal industry doesn’t come, he’ll need new talking points.


China will plow 2.5 trillion yuan ($361 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country’s energy agency said on Thursday, as the world’s largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.

The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation’s energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power will contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020.

The agency did not disclose more details on where the funds, which equate to about $72 billion each year, would be spent.


8 Responses to “Just like Breathing. Scotty Pruitt is a Natural Liar”

  1. Discouraging, but not at all a surprise.

    What needs to be thought about is, assuming a lot of these regulations get pulled back, and if the U.S. pulls out of the COP, how the United States is going to deal financially with its status as a renegade country in 8-10 years. That’s a real possibility, including trade sanctions, and decisions in international courts in others favor once damages from fossil fuel and other emissions begin harming international wealth.

    And, then, there’s the cleanup: Funding clear air capture of CO2, and cleaning up the environmental messes caused by toxic industries having their muzzles off.

  2. Good ol’ US. Got rich being to biggest contributor to the problem. Now doesn’t have the balls to take responsibility!

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Support for keeping the United States in the landmark Paris climate deal of 2015 seems to be gaining traction, reports the New York Times today…

    => Trump Policy Advisers, Split Over Paris Accord, Will Debate U.S. Role in Pact

    Some US fossil fuel moguls don’t want to see their country becoming the biggest banana republic when it comes to climate action.

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    As Peter Sinclair once said: “Those who spread the misinformation and outright lies of the climate denial industry, are useful idiots of some of history’s coldest and greediest killers.”

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    Hey, Scott Pruitt. You’re contradicting your boss now…

    If it wasn’t such a serious matter I’d say it’s nothing but a bad comedy. Amateurs now leading the USA which unfortunately has become an Oligarchy instead of a Democracy according to a scientific study.

    • How stupid would the public have to be, to take that tweet seriously in the first place?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Sir Obvious is still quite proud of his amazing discovery that the USA has become an oligarchy (and it never was a Democracy—-ask Rousseau). That’s something that has been obvious for quite some time to those of us who are products of the US education system.

      It has actually gone one step beyond and is now a living example of a Kakistocracy (“a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens”).

  6. dumboldguy Says:

    Among all the “worst. least qualified, and most unscrupulous citizens” that President Pussy Grabber has appointed to positions of power in his Kakistocracy administration, Pruitt is IMO among the very worst.

    The man is an unbelievably over-the-top lying POS that may single-handedly do the most damage to the chances for future survival of of the planet. Has he no shame?

    I’m making another sign to take to the People’s Climate March to go along with Save Earth, Dump Trump, and Trump Is A Hoax. It will feature Pruitt—-Pruitt Lies or Pruitt Sucks are possibilities.

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