« Reveal

Scuttling Science (Rebroadcast)

2020-02-22 | 🔗

Advisory panels slashed, environmental regulations rolled back – how the Trump administration uses questionable science to justify its policies. Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this is reveal finality since coming Adolphus. President Tromp has repeatedly flabbergasted scientists by sending tweets in making statements. They go against the facts. Example, corona virus is new and scientists, don't know how will behave, but as the death toll from the virus passed a thousand earlier this month, trumps at this time, Governors now the virus that we're talking about having do you know a lot of people think that goes away in April with a heap as the heat comes in, Hopefully that will go away in April. Doctors who study the corona virus say it's way too early to know. If this will happen. Trump had this to say about wind turbines that generate election.
And they say that noise causes cancer. You told me that there is no evidence to support that and back in September, when Hurricane Dorian was ripping through the Bahamas, Trump insisted. He was right predicting. The storm would also hit Alabama, even though the national, whether service said it wouldn't, Mr President, no wonder whether jail this by jokes on late night talk shows. Lots of experts have serious concerns about the president's attitude to science and data. We're gonna be looking at how the Trump Administration has turned its back on science. With a show. We first brought you this fall and a story. That's been unfolding behind The scenes in Washington K this hearing will come to order without, in July Chairs Democrats on Capitol Hill called the hearing of the House Science Committee good afternoon
and welcome to today's joint hearing of the investigations and oversight and environment subcommittees is one of those doors runs like what you see on tv. Sometimes lawmakers worried the President Tromp is taking the science out of federal advisory committees. Those groups are supposed to provide guidance on policy decisions. His Democrat Mikey Cheryl from New Jersey, its essential that these committees aid the EPA in fulfilling its mandate to print extreme and health and the environment, and fortunately, over the course of the last two and a half years, we ve seen a multi pronged attack on these committees. Three top scientists sit at a long table across from my name, is Deborah Slack Hammer and I'm a professor America,
the University of Minnesota she's, a leading environmental scientists. Her research showed how toxic chemicals, like pcbs contaminate the great lakes for decades under both republican and democratic President's Devereux, served on important advisory committees for the Environmental protection agency or present tromp came into office. Things changed interference with Science advisory board at eighty eight is concerned. Still with a broader pattern of science misused by the agency. The EPA administration has demonstrated a pattern of cherry picking, scientific evidence of ignoring rivers. Signs listen, reveal size of border. Elizabeth Chauvelin has been tracking how the trumpet ministration has been signed, Science, in weakening environmental protection, to favour industry shoes at this hearing to analyse Why does a matter? What happens to committees like the one never swear camera was on how to say it sounds pretty obscure, you're right
lot of these committees are completely out of the limelight, but they can play a really important role in government. They help agencies make. Decisions that are informed by science there about a thousand of these committees across the government, and they can influence decisions that are really important to our lives. Like how much pollution there is in the air and is it safe for us to breathe. So What's been going on under the Trump administration there ve been lots of examples of Trump Administration officials I'd lining or ignoring science. In order to help industry, we ve covered some of this, on our show like the example of an effort to censor science at the National Park Service, this was important research being done to see how much are flooding. There will be at national parks because of sea level rise in storm surge connected to climate change. President Trump is really disrupting the role
that science usually plays in government. The shake up at federal advisory committees is another example of this, and that's why I wanted to meet Debars whack hammer. The witnesses are excused and the hearing is now adjourned. Hide me, I am Elizabeth Children flurry. I didn't recognize me with my big, like anyway so nice to meet you in for a nice to meet. You she's rushing for a plane, so I grab some time right in the hearing room, her committee, the Board of scientific councillors, helps EPA. Scientists decide where they should focus their research. She was tearing it when president trumped took office a few months into his presidency. Epa officials told her colleagues, they get second terms, but then dozens of scientists were dismissed. All of a sudden. All these people were not on these committees, and what was your reaction to that? I was horrified and what happened to you at that point. I still had a year left on my
point, so I was not unlike go, but I was removed as chair. Meanwhile, the committee was basically defunct. Then I applied due to a second term, but I was not not chosen, never says in her committee and others, independent scientists were driven out and in many cases replaced with industry people from companies like Exxon, mobile and DOW chemicals that have a financial stake in weakening regulations. The EPA also made it harder for working scientists to join these boards. They ve taken the science out of science advice and they ve made them very political. What to your sense in general, of how the Trump administrations approach to science in policy making has changed the way the Environmental Protection Agency can or cannot do its job. Oh, I really see this as a strategy there, actually being re smart
abolishing the science advisory committees they're, using them by populating them with vested biased interest to basically rubber stamp this political agenda just to be clear. Other administrations have made changes to these advise hurry boards and ever says she seen pass D. Pierre leaders ignore their advice, but they never told us what to say they never messed with our composition. No one from the trumpet ministration would talk with us. Officials have justified the shake up as a way of reducing redundancies adding other points of view. The president's allies say many of these committees get in the way of trumps pro business agenda. Deborah sees trumps handling of the federal advisory committees as part of a broader effort to suppress science, company administration is rolling back more than ninety rules and regulations at the EPA and other agencies designed to protect people and nature. Pupils at all
must be sought set about it, be a rolling back on these rules. I say you know I am, but it can be. Reversed can be changed in a common sense. People can make a difference in the future, but I worry about science itself, because the whole point of science was to find truth and it wasn't to be political and it wasn't to be believed or not. You know my least favorite phrase and world is: do you believe in climate change? My answer is it's not a religion, you don't believe or not, but with the evidence says yes, it is it's not a belief. So from year perspective, this is very serious. Oh yes, oh absolutely people lose the trust and science. I think so much of our society is built on strong science, so if they lose that, I think we're just on shaky ground. We ve lost.
Kind of our backbone and I dont know how to get that. Back. In June, President Trump launched a sweeping overhaul of federal advisory committees. He signed a new. Active order requiring agencies across the government to get rid of hundreds of them. The White House, in a statement reveal said. A lot of these committees are no longer necessary and they waste money. The total number is supposed to drop from about a thousand two three hundred and fifty days reveals Elizabeth children. For that story.
As Lisbon said, the government is planning to slash the number of federal advisory committees by sixty five percent. We want to know how they could affect places that most decision makers in Washington never see a close, we're talking about low income communities that agencies like the EPA are supposed to protect. So we got in touch with doctors. Toby was I'm the social professor with a schoolboy Gulf ear, symmetrical support. Doktor Wilson works with communities of color across the country, helping them gather scientific data about the risks they face from pollution in their air, water and land. As a kid, he saw at first hand what it means to live in a town that has more than its fair share of pollution. My father was a pipe fitter, some on their work and nuclear power plants. He would
Did you know coal fired power plants? He worked a lot of these pollution to assist in our fight against now, as a as an adult s skull, as advocate Advocate also group and Vicksburg Mississippi, we live near a highway. We also live near. A little concrete was more concrete, Vassili Rock Vassili we limit is which we also lunar landfill. So I came from a community where there were far more has is near us in my father. Did his occupation was exposed in Burma has its inner he he has asbestosis else's, as though this were really get me. Engage in this work to really understand have informed in passing the health, and that's when I knew that but do informal justice in my career, Doktor Wilson eventually was asked to serve on a committee at the EPA. Most people called me Jack that stands for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council? So our job is to convene as a group, to provide feedback to the EPA. Oh, what it should be doing to address them from justice.
This is in making sure that the EPA is in a great an informal justice throughout his programmes, divisions and initiatives. So when you join this committee, Obama was still in office. Correct, that's correct! What is the difference between what you saw in the Obama administration, which you see now the jump administration, so the culture and the Obama administration was different. The atmosphere was em for collaboration. We have robust initiative The dress, informal justice, you you had more effort, you just had a different type of energy and also one of the biggest sort of achievements on a well in this region that was really gonna, be beneficial. To means of color impact will promote. Justice was the clean power plan that was about plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. That initiative was a huge
you know for the win on no maladministration, and then we will first for the tremendous region O nuclear power plant, we're not doing that ever more justice. He is now really important to us as got put at the time he never showed up to any joint meetings. It is becoming clear that informal justice wasn't really a priority of the ministrations. Admittedly, it was an important part of gender of proof that the previous appeared ministry, and so now the Trump Administration is saying that they have an end.
Out of these specialised committees. What does it mean, I think, is highly problematic the mean what we're doing wigwam backwards, some of the most vulnerable people in the country. We get emigrants we're poor folks, we have indigenous peoples. We have also brought about all types of has its from incineration chemical plants, the. Where fills the Conakry plants to refineries to power plants. Those folks are overburden. Those folks are vulnerable and with this administration they will not be a voice to really fight for the people. So recently you were in Alabama Workin on environmental justice issues there. What exactly What are you doing in what was a connection with community? I was invited to come in as an academic expert to work with, community. A union tell Alabama Jean Charles Community has about two thousand residence there. S household income is less than twelve thousand dollars. On the said again, there s household income is less,
twelve thousand dollars. They have on landfill that takes in shrank from thirty three states. They also taken in four million tonnes of coal less several years ago there was a spill encased in Tennessee and they they took all. The collection is probably why community in a dump it in a black community in a year ago, and so this landfills built on top of all US limiting black cemetery and when it was agreed as issues the community most. Don't you flush it all it. Your wastewater Gozo solution when it is treated with was discharge when they flesh at all it. The wastewater goes to contain it pon lagoon in an esprit the liquid waste on the ground. Yes, there's brain human waste on the ground in union town, so what we ve been doing is too
brain science of the people in Hilton Collector own data. So I can fight against those pollution emissions. You know the training folks on how to use science for action, and I'm still just speechless about the description that you just laid out about what's happening in Alabama, and I think that that is part of the issue when it comes to environmental justice. Is that most people across the country? have no idea that these type of things are going on in communities of color? Now I agree is: how in every word there over Why has it didn't have good access to infrastructure, like parks, green space in food and asked? Why was happen with the EPA? Thus, why was happen on his administration? Is the dream It is in this problematic and we need to do more to stop the Zika Robots We need to do more to make the message in those that science is not as important in general. Size is important for these
he's that we're leaving behind whittling trump issue. The executive order ended these advisory committees. Here doesn't just pointing a yours, is a lot of them right here. Is this correct this a number of other committees that are on the top and block? So I think in general, this destructive order is this attack on science and the importance of science in public debate and appoint a size in policymaking. Without science we wouldn't have the cleaner right. While the science we had had a clean water right, think about where we would be if we didn't have a clue. What are actively Eric thing about women? Yet we have a superfine long that science has been very important in advance and public health in advance and protection environment. So this anti size climate is not as problematic for America in general, is very problematic for those most vulnerable. You represent all of these vulnerable communities,
scientists. What do you think the most pressing environmental danger is for those communities right now for most of the means, it is the same issues most press from. All America's excesses of this earth- climate change. What I mean by it is climate impact is all but were calamities. Does it reveals in rumble injustice right? if you're living in North Carolina with a lot of industrial hog farms them only or are you already impacted by the oldest from all those forms? Ammonia? How to store father, bought the compounds things and bring your eyes and throat. You have run off already
your words about the room and most people rural areas there will water within you bring a hurricane through people have escaped through a toxic soup of Emma Waste and human ways, and I have access to water. Look at what happened. We heard him a real right. That's an informal justice catastrophe. You know. Look at over. Three thousand people died because of that hurricane, yet people who would chance you drink water from Will from Superfund sites. That is a major crisis. Climate change is the biggest threat to human health. Climate change is the biggest threat. The folks who are red disappointment burned by has it so we we address climate change, a photo climate change to a list of equity and social justice. We would not only protect the most vulnerable groups. Also. We hope our other folks were not vulnerable. It is a question that we struggle with in the news business, how we make people care, because everything that you just said I know to be true. I know that climate change
is the number one thing environmentally, that we should be worried about in there should be taking action now. I know that time is limited in in how we can make change. I know that the only way we do, it is, if we figure out a way to make every day people care about it and yet still are we tell story of the story of the story and we do our best to get that word out, and yet there is no
change within the nation, there's no visible change, at least within everyday people's lives. You think there's a really good question for me. You have to talk about issues their merit of folks, yet it you know we're about climate change, climate fastened, with which we talk about the Big S right there predictions you know the temperature trains over time. That's out more about the little Essen that science is linked to food faith, family health and jobs, make it more local, making more what you live. Where you work, will you please will you will you learn what you pray and ass? You talk about plan. How comes it will impact food? How comes it will impact my health? How comes it will impact my job opportunities in my pocketbook? How comes it will impact on health in my family, my only mother whose shut in who doesn't have air condition so remember, heat waves are here for the poor and the elderly. Talk about those issues when it comes to heal
The fact that many people color low income people color spend so much money of their mother come on energy bill was that the climate issue will be here more heat issues right, which means that you have to use your air conditioning more more, and your answer was going. The work make it more local, making more cheque book. Being that we are living in these days, where there's a war against science right when we probably needed the most with climate change, really kicking in I'm just curious. If you have any hope well, you know not be crass about it now be in a black man until we're racism. I gotta gotta stay hopeful. You know as a scholar and advocate I act as the Roma summit. We were all about hope. We were fighting for social justice right. We fight for health justice with fine for economic justice, we're fine for the next generation. How can you put
first, if you put your keys first with fine for children, so he had to be hopeful in this movement if we want to make the next generation is night living the sale of pollution that we live in with that sucralose and thinking so much for talking to us. Thank you like that. To Wilson, Jeff also has been his career trying to reduce emissions from cars, but after decades of privacy, the EPA he saw, the Trump Administration put everything into reverse I've called it the most spectacular regulatory flipped flopping. Story. I've never seen anything like it. That's next on reveal.
He's done, brows, podcast pigs and, if you like, investigative storytelling and I'm assuming you do because you listening to me right now check out motive from W B easy Chicago. They ve just released a new season about it group of young women seeking justice in Spain story starts with a cow students. Death was studying abroad, questions surround the man she was with the night. She died and goes on, look at allegations of sexual assault, why was your silence for almost a decade and what happens next,
you can listen to motive from W B, Easy Chicago. What ever you get your backing from the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex? This is revealed a reality today, we're looking at how the Trump administration is turning its back on science and scientists, it something that you have outlined has experienced first hand. He worked at the EPA for forty years, that's more than ten thousand days on the job. And out of all of those there's one day it stands out in July of twenty eleven I got to spend ten minutes in the oval office with President Obama. Ten minutes celebrating a deal that deal that Jeff help put together. One, the president has just announced, hours earlier. I am extraordinarily proud to bigger. Today, with the leader.
Of the world's largest auto companies and the folks who represent workers all across America next to Obama ass? He spoke with shiny new cars from companies like Ford, FIAT Chrysler and GM. And it was a rare sight to see the leaders of these car companies applauding new government regulations. They nodded, as president talked about how this agreement would double fuel efficiency standards. This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we ve ever taken. As a nation to reduce our dependence on For now, the new rule would acquire cars to nearly double fuel efficiency to more than fifty four miles, a gallant by twenty twenty five, and for the first time ever there would be a cap on greenhouse gas emissions over time the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air would be cut by six Billy, tons, that's about with the; U S produces in the year
just role in all this. He was an engineer at the EPA national vehicle in fuel emissions laboratory in Ann Arbor mission. He a pull the data crunch, the numbers and make the models that created this new stand No, I was able to proudest day of my career. We were gonna, make history and a done deal and now it's all coming. Undone, without any sound or defensible rationale for undoing it. The Trump administration is about to roll back. When President Barack Obama's signal our policies on the environment, the move I'm from the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, that Scott Berlin, as you know, I'm here to announce that those standards that were set here, obligated to to evaluate we are determining. I am determined that those standards are inappropriate and should be revise
I called it the most spectacular regulatory flip flop in history. I've never seen anything like it. For a regulatory body to say, forget everything we told you for seven years about the numbers. We were completely wrong now believe us now for Jeff. If our personal use of his work coming undone, it really does feel awful. It feels like a good chunks I career was kind of taken away from me, and the agency devoted his career to suddenly seem to be moving backwards. Turning away from its original mandate, tackle the nations biggest police. Problems. People start pollution, stop it back in the sixties, when Jeff was a kid pollution was in the news pretty much every day in eighteen, sixty nine and oil spill hit Santa Barbara. It was the largest one, the
Jason had ever seen. The Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted it caught on fire New York City, LOS Angeles were choking in smog. It was impossible not to notice how bad things were. The great question of him, companies is shut. We surrender to our surroundings or We make our peace with nature and begin to make preparations for the damage we have. To our air, to our land and to our wine. This Richard Nixon, giving his state of the union speech back in nineteen. Seventy one. Not long after he signed the executive order, creating the EPA,
restoring nature to its natural state as a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans in nineteen. Seventy five, the first emission standards for cars, went into effect. This is a device. You're probably heard a lot about lately and you are undoubtedly going to hear a great deal more about it. It's called a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is a part of the cars exhaust system and dramatically reduce its tail pipe emissions. They worked so well carmakers still using today, but back in the seventies companies didn't want the government telling them how to design their hours and when people saw in the private sector saw, the EPA had stood Toto with one at that time was the most powerful corporate sector in the world. You they all industry back then, was the Google and apple of today that sent the message to the rest. The private sector, the EPA was, was gonna, be a major player. It was now legitimate,
for government to way and on how their cars should be designed at times. Jeff was a young idealistic engineer and he was impressed. I've wanted to do something to try to help make the world a little bit better place I was an engineering school and getting stray days in, but thinking I didn't really want to go work for large corporations. Design the next little widget or something so. He joined the EPA in eighteen. Seventy eight by then Congress had already put in place the nations first fuel efficiency, standard bureaucrats called it cafe short for corporate average fuel economy. When I bought my new car, I checked the other windows to a new one. I showed you
a gap, mileage you'll, get a ferry traffic and, on my word, as green as it may seem now, the new molecule had little to do with the environment and everything to do with the energy crisis of the nineteen seventys. The original cafe standard was created after oil producing nations in the middle lease embargo, the? U S, gas prices, spiked and people had to wait long lines at the pump Congress acted forcing car makers to make more efficient cars that would save consumers. Money. Fuel efficiency standards continued to increase, but early eighties. They try to stay that way for two decades closure. Certain times were, EPA is not going to be able to do the type of things
those who work there. I want to do because there are competing priorities and for whatever sets of reasons, maybe the environmental priorities just honest high, but even though there was little political will to improve CAFE, Standards, Josh and his colleagues keep pushing research for testing ways to make cars more efficient, then in two thousand, Another crisis came along the: U S, auto industry is in dire straits and its leaders are asking Congress for billions of dollars in low when petrol prices rose earlier this year, Detroit was left with hundreds of thousands of unsolved vehicles. Its demand for a bailiff reflects its inability to adapt to new conditions and some say to its pudding, profits over efficiency. One of them just wait. Confronted from the beginning of this administration is what to do with the state of the struggling auto industry. Negotiating a bail out with a car companies gave Obama leverage the federal government stepped in with emergency loans.
But then later mandated that companies make cars. They go much further on a gallon of gas. That's how that Obama CAFE Standard was borne by twenty twenty five. The average fuel economy of their vehicles will merely double to almost fifty five miles per day, but what Obama saw is doing the right thing. President Trump saw as an attack on carmakers below three months after President Trump took office. She came out to give some anti Michigan. It is truly great to be back here In Michigan, he gave a major speech there, invited see of several of the major automobile companies. Another you a w was there, it was kind of a photo opportunity, speech kind of event. I kept my word
The assault on the american auto industry believe me is over over, like it. I have it anymore. Four singly. Nobody from EPA's Ann Arbor Facility, ten miles away was, was even invited to come, which that was kind of like the first signal to us that things were going to be a lot different a year and a half after Trump Travel to Ypsilanti his administration announced it was proposing its very own, Cathy standards. The transplant would require cars to get thirty seven miles per gallon instead of fifty four and a half under Obama. Trump will also allow parts to admit higher levels of greenhouse gases, normally Jeff team at the
Pa would be doing the engineering analysis for a big proposal like this and said the Trump Administration work only with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for Nitsa. We were basically completely out of the analysis and the others were a kind of science can, until we we know more about this than that, sir. We ve been working with him for seven years and then all of a sudden, a new administration comes in and we were completely cut out. I think they bishop. We knew the answer that the White House wanted and they were gonna cook the books by twisting every nah been that model all the assumptions they could. The bottom line results of the White House wanted and it They made me.
Kind of ashamed and appalled DP administrator Andrew Wheeler talked a blue bird news about why he thinks there plan is better than Obama's. We have a goal not just of energy efficiency, but we also have a ghost of safety. Highway safety saving lives. So how would cars they burn more gas and create more pollution, end up saving lives. Jeff took a look at how the transportation army came up with that and I couldn't believe what he felt deal tee is assuming that people will drive less because less fuel efficient cars will cost them more. At the pub and with people driving less deity says, fewer people will die in car accidents. Jeff says the government's own data doesn't backed up. He caused their logic. The king, other faint task fantastical disappearing miles, there's no rationale or justification,
anywhere is not in their documents is not in the economic literature. It doesn't pass the common sense, laugh test, the details get pretty lucky and we did ass. The EPA admitted to explain them, but they wouldn't talk to us. Neither with the White House. We did talk to a couple. Other experts and I agree with Jeff's bottom line this the most spectacular modeling blunder I've ever seen in my forty year. Career wasn't just if they put their thumb on the scale they like jumped up. And down on the scale until they broke the scale. Jeff decided he couldn't stay with E pierre. He quit and twenty a teen before the proposal was released to the public eye consciously made the decision and in part to a copper friends, and so I am actually thinking I might be able to have more of an impact on the outside. Then I'm going
we will have on the inside later. Jeff spoke out at a public hearing at a large hotel conference. All the mission, a bunch of his former colleagues with their mostly people who worked it needs a Jeff, accuse them of cooking the books and creating the most is honest, technical analysis. He'd ever seen. Most of them said quietly in their seats There was very little back and forth right after about our after hearing panel, I went to the men's rush room and lo and behold standing of Europe who should come in behind me. And the next year and all but one of the staffers that nets who I had known for them previous seven years- and it was awkward moment and
I can't even remember exactly what prompted me. Well, I decided I was going to say something I said so you guys you're gonna, have to change that assumption about driving less under the raw back right. It's just so bizarre. He looked over at me. He paused it looked over at me to goes. I can't talk about that in July. For major carmakers dealt a blow to the Trump Administration proposed rollbacks CUP of car emission standards for Volkswagen, Honda and Bmw struck a deal with California, the nation's largest car market. They agreed to meet of mileage standard, which is almost as strict as Obama's the Trump administration responded by having the Justice League,
An open and anti trust inquiry into those for car companies. In January, the administration closed its investigation, saying no laws were violated. It still working on finalizing the details of a molecule back. That story was produced by a deeper meaning and Elizabeth Chauvelin, the White House, with doctors for this story and neither with the EPA administrators, but we did get an interview with a former high rating tromp official who sees things differently from Jeff. I would say that this administration has continued to fulfil the mission of EPA and a very meaningful way. That's next one reveal
from the centre for investigating reporting and p r ex this is reveal We ve been talking about the Trump Administration sidelined science, we first ear the short timber. We tried for weeks to get interviews with the White House, the EPA and the Department of Transportation. All of our requests were denied, but a former Trump Administration appointee from a key EPA or did agree to talk with my name's, mainly gonna Segura. I am currently the founder of a pro trumped nonprofit cod energy, forty five, where the mission is to educate the public,
when the energy environment and economic successes of the Trump administration. Prior to that, and most recently I was the principal deputy assistant administrator at the: U S Environmental Protection agency. How long will you leave you almost two years but see a year and eleven months, a lot of things happening in that year in a row a month. But what are you most proud of accomplishing there too big things? Wine? Is that the president's announcement to get out of the Paris climate accord- and the other thing to is the repeal and replace of the clean power plan, I'm from my perspective, the last administration strain the interpretation of what EPA respective responsibility wise under the pertinent provisions of the clean air
and we we fix that Moody's talking about doing away with President Obama's two biggest climate change initiatives. Paris, climate accord is a plan to bring the whole world together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the clean power plan, as we said earlier in the shop, would have required states use cleaner electricity cutting down on the use of coal, so that may be asked Why would you consider reviving coal as an accomplishment when you're at the Environmental Protection Agency, because its within the mandate almond, especially under the cleaner act, to to get rid of a particular industry. And frankly, the coal industry has been very successful in implementing and reducing emissions, but it still the dirt this form of energy. There is out there, we have other forms, they could do the exact same thing that are not as dirty and also more cost efficient. One thing I want to push back on
it is an earlier. You said that the EPA was putting an industry out of business and that's not what they're supposed to do, but from the very beginning the EPA has said that you know they are under no obligation to promote agriculture or commerce. The only critical obligation is to protect and enhance the environment yet, and- and- and I dont disagree with it and then there's different ways that you can go about implementing that and a lot of the work that we did under this administration continue to move the ball. Where you balance, need of energy source to fuel the economy, while ensuring important protection to reduce pollutants that are a by product of the combustion process, don't get out in the air and and harm the public, public health or the surrounding environment. Limitless move forwards, the Paris Climate Change Treaty, nearly every country in the world has signed onto the Paris agreement
the overwhelming majority of scientists, say that climate action like this, it is essential to avert catastrophe. Why did you think the Paris agreement was a bad idea, one? It was ineffective, it was going to cost billions of dollars and it also was going to and p the president's deregulatory initiative that was important to unleashing the unleashing the economic potential that we have enjoyed for the first two and a half years of his administration. The question I have for you is, if you think it was ineffective, what would be effective, because what I keep thinking about is that scientists or saying that if we do not take action, we are gonna, have a catastrophe that everything is gonna fall apart, and so the question I have for you is like, if, if the Paris agreement wasn't enough, what do you think we need to be doing? Instead? I think that's a really good question. The best thing we can do is export that technological advances
on that that we have achieved in this country to the rest of the World Mandy. That is that that that is so passive debts. Leg, saying: ok, so we're gonna like hand out this band aid. While there is a huge that is continuing to bleed out band aids are going to save us. At this point, I dont think I dont think that its passive at all I think, more importantly, it's actually effective and you can you can measure the effectiveness of it, I'm just in the. Relative number of greenhouse gas emission reductions that have occurred in the United States verses places like Germany, in France and then, if you look at what's going on in China and India, yes, the, U S is scaling back by the. U S is restored. We ve been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases? We
in the world, in greenhouse gas reduction because of organizations like the EPA that was started because a river was on fire literally, which meant we had to put in place some regulations in order to make sure that this type of thing wouldn't happen again, yeah you're, exactly right things. Things were bad in the seventies when I would I was growing up. I remember that in LOS Angeles there was a rush of smog so thick in LOS Angeles and at times it would be like a four hunk it doesn't happen the same way. It was when I was a kid in the seventies and eighties. What I'm saying is that the reason why that is happening is because of regulation, and when you look at what the Trump Administration is doing with deregulation and Billy, like taking resources away from the EPA and making decisions that many former EPA administrators, both Democrats and Republicans say, are ignoring science or twisting it. So I would say that this administration,
in his continue to fulfil the mission of EPA in a very meaningful way, and so we we, the agency, have this mission set before us where we use specific responsibility assigned to us by Congress laid out in his relative statutes to continue to clean up the error in in a very substantive way which which we have your background. His lawyer, your lawyer, correct. Yes, so when you read the EPA, you did away with a panel of experts who advised on site and from our reporting we ve heard from several people from the EPA that they are being pushed out or that the panels,
we are working on around the chopping block now, and so the question is: is the EPA ignoring Science or, if they're, not ignoring the science? How can they be listening and following to it, if they're getting rid of all the people with the scientific expertise? So the agency, getting rid of a father people with with relative scientific expertise- and I would say in that particular instance, and we have A federally mandate committee called the Clean AIR Scientific Advisory Committee case Sack and this this particulate matter or, as your refer to it, set subcommittee almost a part of that. And so to say. Things were made to get rid of redundancies essentially- and I would just say this to some of the science
I'm who were on some of these sub committees, Brinkley, had a gun, got gotten a little bit out of control and made it impossible to come to decisions and timely basis. But a lot of those academics are being replaced with people who are closer to industry. The cleaner science advisory committee- you just mention, is led by Tony Cox. Oh said that air pollution does not harm people he's leaving the committee for Clean air science and he says that air pollution doesn't harm people. It seems like people who are closer to the industries that The EPA is supposed to be regulating have been brought closer in in their view of the EPA does not sound like it's in line with what you said, the EPA should be about, so I would, I would say this the he he's one member of a board that has a number of members. That's one one perspective one representative in
I represent here he's not just one member though he leads it. I mean that there is a huge problem. He leads it, sir, I would say when we do, we d respect the science and as a whole, the agency disagrees with air pollutants, not harming people. I understand what he said is is offensive to you and I understand the perspective, but that is one small, tiny peace and what actually goes into all of us, and I think, focusing on that is a bit disingenuous when, when you look at the work that we are actually doing, the tangible actions that this administration is taking is is completely inconsistent and different than what this one person has has said. What he says is look
thence to me. What he said is not true, and I'm not I'm not disagree with you. I I think it's not your deal saying it's not. I just think the attention it's getting takes away from, focusing on the good work that we are actually doing to ensure there are adequate help, base protections and place to continue to fulfil the mission of the agency earlier in the show we are that present drop is rolling back clean cars, debtors put in place by President Obama. The Obama rules would have reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly more than trumps plan of the problem. Is that they were premised icon on people buying electric vehicles in and a lot of cars that were cos prohibitive to the majority of Americans. Out there. And so you would have this problem where there's this on. You know
zero emission vehicle out there, but the majority of Americans can't afford to dry that you're saying that the Obama administrations assertion that people were gonna, buy more electric cars Sickly is flawed moraine. The one thing I would say is a car company said that they could meet the standards and of, for example, they dont rollback the standards. Fair standards have been adjusted to compare it with reality in, and I would say that what we Is the point of having some environmental standard that looks good on paper, but it has no tangible impact in the real world less question. I just keep thinking that if we don't make some kind of drastic move that five to ten years from now getting climate change under control is not gonna be possible. If the United States doesn't step up as the leader of the World
I'm just wondering what kind of world we're gonna have. So I would say that the United States is already a leader in allowing- I won't argue with you on that. I guess my point would be. We are seeing climate change happen all over the world and if America, is the leader. I'm not gonna, debate that with you. But if America is the leader in it, then clearly, that's not enough like what can we do? You're, not you're, not gonna, like this answer her bed at that it's it's doing.
We're doing now. The United States leads the world in greenhouse gas emission reductions because of the increased role of natural gas alongside improved efficiency and how we generate power in this country in that that's very meaningful and not something that should and could be embrace internationally, and, I would say, a lot of the caught. The conversations around climate change is its hyperbolic end. I do think that talking about climate change and figuring out ways to continue to improve our trajectory in that space is important, but it's not this existential threat that if we don't do something drastic today, it's it's going to to result in some catastrophic future. I won, I dont believe that's the case and the science.
That is the latest in greatest science, from the people who think most critically about that, doesn't lend itself to those outcomes either Laguna Segura. Thank you so much for Jordan. We appreciate tat. Likewise, maybe going to Segura work for the EPA under the Trump administration. Join me again is real size reporter Elizabeth Chopin and Elizabeth The last thing that Mandy said is that the latest greatest science supports her view that climate change is England. Result in some catastrophic future did maybe get that right. Now. She didn't in fact the latest in greatest science, which comes out of the United Nations interim government,
Panel on climate change shows that there is a really heavy lived for the people of the planet, to respond to the challenge of climate change, to avoid dangerous effects, and that group this far said in order to avoid dangerous climate change. We're gonna have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by forty five percent by twenty thirty zombies, misrepresent the size present trump. Those to the road many rejects the sides that people cause climate change, that's right, but he's also starting to try to town his green credentials. This summer he gave a whole speech about the environment and in late August he told reporters at the G7 press conference that he's in there
by our mental list. So what's behind this, climate change has taken off as an issue and not just with Democrats swing voters and even some Republicans, like the youngest Republicans and the highest educated Republicans. One recent poll showed that three and four american voters want to see the government step in to limit carbon emissions, including a majority of Republicans. Six and ten voters believe you S. Climate policy is seriously on the wrong track. As President Trump heads towards the election, is he just trying to re brand himself as an environmental is, or is he changing his actions to well in the state of the union? He talked about planting alive of trees, but he didn't even mention climate change and in three years he's
at up far more roll backs of environmental protection than any previous president early producers this week or lose with children in Juba, meaning requires and talking to me, edit, the show our production, major windy in a host of original score and sound, designed by the dynamic, do J Breeze, Mr Jim Breaks and Fernando may you outta there. Engineering help from amiable staff are ceo. Is crisis offer Matt Thompson is our editor and chief executive producer is Kevin Sullivan. Our theme music to buy camerado like support for reviews provided by the Weave and David Logan Foundation. The John D Catherine T Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Heising Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal is a co production of the center for investigative reporting and prx I'm outlets in and remember. There is always more to this
Transcript generated on 2020-02-25.