Advisory panels slashed, environmental regulations rolled back – how the Trump administration uses questionable science to justify its policies.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You're over President trumps Map of Hurricane Dorian has made lots of people question the administrations commitment to science, education missed it. Torreon was pummeling the Bahamas. President Trump tweeted, then Alabama would most likely be hit too The national, whether serves in Birmingham quickly sent out a tweet saying the state would feel no impact for four days the president kept insisting, had. He been right. We had many lines going directly many miles, each line being a model and they were going directly through and in all cases, Alabama was hit. It likely, in some cases, pretty hard, even held a maps. They look like they ve been altered with a sharply show Alabama in the storms path. Things escalated would know of the agency overseas the weather service, the least state, sided with the president and criticized its own export. This sparked uproar among scientists
there's an investigation into whether Noah violated its own ethics in how we handle the controversy for late night. Talk shows the story, as played out like a comedy Mr President, your going to whether jail, but for people who watched the Trump Administration closely, it's a part of a disturbing pattern where scientists feel under attack Kay 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 sub committees is a little dog pill. Rooms like which is sealed tv, sometimes lawmakers a worried. The president's Trop is taking the science out of federal advisory committees. Those groups are supposed to provide guidance on policy decisions. His Democrat MIKE
Carol from New Jersey, its essential that these committees aid the EPA in fulfilling its mandate to protect human health and the environment, and for chile. Over the course of the last two and a half years, we ve seen a multi pronged attack on these committees. Three, Scientists sit at a long table across from my name, is Deborah Slack Hammer and I'm a professor America from the University of Minister 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, never served unimportant advisory committees for the Environmental Protection Agency born present tromp came into office. Things changed. Interference with science. Advisory board at EPA is consistent with a broader pattern of science misused by the agency. The EPA illustration has demonstrated a pattern of cherry picking, scientific evidence of ignoring rigorous scientific consensus,
reveal size or border. Elizabeth Chauvelin has been tracking how the Trump Administration has inside learning science in weakening environmental protection to favour industry shoes. At this hearing to Elizabeth What does it matter? What happens to committees like the one never swear camera was on how to say it sounds pretty obscure. You write a lot of these committees. Are completely out of the limelight, but they can play a really important role in government. They help agency to 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, what's been going on under the Trump administration. They 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 them
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 more flooding there will be at national parks because of sea rise in storm surge connected to climate change. President Trump is really disrupting the role that site usually plays and government the shake up at federal advisory com. This is another example of this, and that's why I wanted to meet Deborah swap hammer. The witnesses are excused and the hearing is now adjourned. Pardon me I am Elizabeth children. Sorry, I didn't recognize me with my big guy anyway. Nice to meet you in for a nice to meet you she's rushing for a plane, so I grab some time with her right in the hearing room, her committee, the Board of scientific councillors,
top cpa scientists decide where they should focus their research. She was tearing it when President Trump 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 appointment, so I was not on let go but I was removed as chair. Meanwhile, the committee was basically the front. 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 cases replaced with industry, people from companies X on Mobile and DOW chemicals that have a financial stake in weakening regulations. The EPA awesome
it harder for working scientists to join these boards. They ve taken the science out of science advice and they made them very political. She brings up the example of each is clean AIR Science Advisory Committee. It now has only one academic scientist on it. How do you have seven people provide advice to the administrator on air pollution standards when only one of them is a scientist, not just crazy? What is yours and in general of how the Trump The sea 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 they're. Not the strategy there actually being re smart they're, not abolishing the signs advisory committees. They're using now by populating them with vested biased interest to basically rubber stamp this political agenda just to be clear other. Ministrations have made changes to these advisory boards endeavours
She seen past EPA leaders ignore their advice, but they never told us. To say they never messed with our composition. No one from the Trump administration would talk with us. Officials have justified the shake up as a way of reducing redundancies and adding other points of view. The the dense ally, say many of these committees get in the way of trumps pro business agenda. Deborah sees trumps handling of federal advisory committees as part of a broader effort to suppress science that Administration is rolling back more than eighty rules and regulations at the EPA and other agencies that were designed to protect people and nature pupils at all. You know so upset about Pierre 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
We believe it or not. You know my least favoured phrase in the 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, absolutely people, those 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 our 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 secular border 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 The deadline is the end of the month. This reveals Elizabeth Sherwin for that story as Is beset 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 EPA are supposed to protect, so we got in touch with doctors. Toby was I'm a social professor with the school but gulf. You resume Eric Osborne. Doktor Wilson works with
communities of color across the country, helping them gather scientific data about the risks they face from pollution in the air, water and land as a kid he's off 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. Someone dare worked in nuclear power plants, he worked it in a coal fired power plants. He worked a lot of these pollutants, as was always do not fight against. Now. As a as an adult, it a scholar, as advocate also workgroup group we're Mississippi. We live under a highway. We all live near a little concrete was mockery facility rock Vassili we limit is which We also limit 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 you know he has asbestosis as though that's what really got me engage in this work. To really understand from investing in health. In this woman,
did I wanna 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 informal justice issues and making sure that the EPA is in a great, an informal justice throughout his programmes, divisions and initiative. So, when you join this committee, Obama was still in office. Correct, that's correct! What is the difference between what you in the Obama administration, which you see now the Trump administration, so the culture and the Obama administration was different. The atmosphere was em for collaboration. We have robust initiative to address informal justice. You you have more
effort. You just had a different type of energy and also one of the biggest sort of achievements on Obama. Restoration. There was really gonna, be beneficial to committees of color impact will promote. Justice was the clean power plan that was Obama's plan to slash greenhouse gas since from power plants. That initiative was a huge. You know for the wine are no more than this and then, when you fast forward the Trump administration. Oh the clean power plan we're not doing that informal justice- it's not really important to us at the time he never showed up. So I need that means. It just became clear that in Broomall, justice wasn't really a priority of the ministration and the Chipley. It was important part agenda of Scott Pruitt, the previous EPA administrator, and so now the Trump Administration is saying that
going to end a lot of these specialized committees. What does that mean? I think it's highly problematic mean what we're doing we're going backwards. If you get rid of needs that you would not have that voice. The voice of the community tell me if he ate these issues important some of our most vulnerable people in the country. We got immigrants, we are poor. Folks, we have indigenous peoples. We have folks with braids about all types of hazards from incinerators. The chemical plant, the landfills, the concrete plant to refineries to powerplex those folks are overburdened those folks of vulnerable and with this administration, what they're doing right now you were, the needs that those issues will not be brought to the EPA table. 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
are you doing in what was a connection with community? I was invited to come in as an academic expert work With a community, a union Tom Alabama yields community union has about two thousand residents there. S household income is less than twelve thousand dollars. I will say it again: there s household income is less than well thousand dollars. They have em when feel 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 Until and so this landfills built on top of all cemetery, black cemetery and one must agree
this issue? Is the community most? Don't you flush of toll it? Your wastewater goals with loose shrimp clinic is treated with was discharge when they flew at all at the wastewater goes to contain upon a 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 trying to bring size to the people and helping let their own data. Second fight against those pollution emissions. You noticed, training photo Hata Use science for action. I'm still just speechless about the description that 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 The fees type things are going on in communities of color now agree is:
happening. Every word. The open Burma has its didn't, have good access to infrastructure, like parks, Greece, basin, food and ask. Why was happen with the EPA? That's, why was having on his administration? Is breaches in this problematic, and we need to do more to stop the Zika robots We need to do more than masons the message. Those that size is not as important in general size is important. For this is there really behind whittling trump issue, the executive order ended these advisory committees doesn't just pointing a yours is a lot of them right here is a correct. This, a number of other committees that are on the top and block. So I think in general, this destructive order is just the attack on science and the importance of science in public debate in the pauses size in policy making. What else Since we wouldn't have cleaner right, while the science we have the radically water right think about where would be if we didn't have a clue. What are evidently Eric thing about women
yet we have a superfund law that science has been very important in advance and public health in advance and protect the environment. So this anti science climate is not just problematic for Americans in general is very problematic for those are 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? Opening for most of the means is the same issues: was pressed from all all America's and citizens deserve climate change What I mean by that is calamities. Impact is all, but were calamities. Does it reveals in rumble injustice right? If you live in North Carolina was a lot of unjust. Rihanna farms now only Are you already impact about orders from all those farms, ammonia, Hata, thought evolved, gonna compounds things in bringing as an bro. You have run off already,
get into your words about the women most people. Rural areas. There will water within you bring a hurricane through people have escaped to a toxic soup of Emma Waste and human waste and I'll have access to water. Look at what happened. We hurricane Maria right, that's an informal justice catastrophe. You know. Look at over. Three thousand people died because of that hurricane young people who will charge you drink water from wills 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 hasn't so so we address climate change and focus on climate change to allow equally equity and social justice. We would not only protect the most vulnerable will. We also would help 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 just said I know to be true. I know that I'm a change is the number one thing
environmentally that we should be worried about in there we 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, 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 the merit of folks, you got it you can. We talk about climate change, climate, fossil up 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 size S linked to food faith, family health and jobs, make it more local
making. Where would 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 and my family, my early mother, whose shut in who doesn't have air condition so remember heat waves, a hill for the poor and the elderly, talk about those issues when it comes to health. The fact that many people color low income people color spend so much money there. Mother, come on energy bill, was it. A calamity issue will behave more heat issues right, which means that you have to use your air more more, more and you're going gonna work, make it more local, make it 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. Gotta gotta stay hopeful. You know, as a scholar and advocate, may act as a verbal dissolute, we're all about hope. We were fighting for social justice right. We fine for health justice with fine for economic justice, we're fine for the next generation. How can you put a mega first, if you put your kids first with fine for our children
so we had to be hopeful in this movement if we want to make the next generation is night living. The sane loves pollution that we live in with that security losin. Thank you so much for talking to us. Thank you. Like Doktor, Wilson Jefferson has spent his career trying to reduce emissions from cars, but after decades of progress at the EPA, he saw the Trump Administration put everything into reverse I've, called it the most spectacular regulatory flipped in history. I've never seen anything like it. That's next on reveal
From the threat of war, investigative reporting and p r ex this is revealed an outlet today, we're looking at how the trunk administration is turning its back on science and scientists, it something that give ourselves has experienced first hand. He worked at the EPA for forty years, that's more than ten thousand days on the job and add a lot of those there's one day stay In July of twenty eleven, I got to spend ten minutes in the oval office with President Obama. Ten minutes celebrating a deal's, a deal that Jeff help put together. One the president has just announced hours earlier. I am extraordinarily proud to be here today with the leaders of the world's largest auto companies and the folks who represent
workers all across Amerika. Next, all Obama, as he spoke, was shiny, new cars from companies like Ford, Viet, Chrysler it yeah, 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 stands represents the single most important step we ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence, The new rule would require cars to nearly double fuel efficiency, to more than fifty four miles, a gallon by two thousand and twenty five, and for the first time ever, they would be a cap on greenhouse gas emissions over The amount of carbon dioxide released into the year would be cut by six billion tonnes, with the. U S produces in a year, are cars will produce fewer emissions?
when your kids are biking around the neighbourhood. They'll be breathing less pollution and fuel taxes. It means we're doing more to protect our air and water, and at me, we're reducing the carbon pollution that threatens our climate. Just role in all this? He was an engineer at the EPA national vehicle and fuel emissions laboratory in Ann Arbor mission. He appeared the data crunch, the numbers the models that created this new standard near it was the proudest day of my career. We were gonna, make history and It was 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 signature policies on the environment, the move
from the head of the Environmental Protection Agency? That's got brewer, as you know, I'm here to announce that those standards that were set that we are obligated to to evaluate we are determining. I am determined that those standards are inappropriate and should be revised I called 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 believers now for Jeff. It felt personal use of his work coming. Undone, it really does feel awful. It feels like a good chunk of my career was kind of taken away from me. The agency devoted his career to suddenly seem to be moving backwards, turning away from its original mandate to tackle the nations biggest police,
problems, people start pollution. People can stop it back in the 60s when Jeff was a kid. Pollution was in the news pretty much. Every day in nineteen, sixty nine in oil spill hit Santa Barbara. It was the largest one that had ever seen. The Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted it caught on fire what city in LOS Angeles, would choking in smog. It was impossible not to notice how bad things were, the great question of it. This is shown. Surrender to our surrounded me, or We make our peace with nature and begin to make preparations for the damage we have done to our air our land and to our water, That's Richard Nixon, giving his state of the union speech back in eighteen. 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 I'm a 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 probably heard a lot about lately and you are undoubtedly going to hear a great they are more about it. It's called a kettle. A converter, the catalytic converter is a part of the cars exhaust system and a dramatically reduce his tail pipe emissions. They worked so well. Carmakers still usin today, but back in the seventies companies didn't want the government telling them how to design their cars and when people saw in the private sector saw that each year stood toe to toe with what at that time was the most powerful corporate sector in the world. Do they alter the street back then? Was the google and apple of today that sent the message to the rest of the private sector that each day was was going to be a major
it was now legitimate for government to weighing on how their cars should be design. 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 play. When I was an engineering school is getting stray days and of but thinking I didn't I wanna go we're for large corporations and design the next little widgets 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 my words 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 seventies DE regional CAFE standard was creed, 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 continue to increase. But only a means they practice and stay that way. For two decades there, just certain times were epee aged not going to be able to do the type of things that those who work there one to do, because there are compete
being priorities and for whatever sets of reasons, maybe the environmental priorities, just honest as high though there was little political will to improve cafe. Standards, Jeff and his colleagues keep pushing research for testing ways to make cars more efficient than in two thousand, and eight the 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 rules. Earlier this year, Detroit was left with hundreds of thousands of unsolved vehicles. Its demand for a bailout reflects its inability to adapt to new conditions and some say towards putting profits over efficient one of the challenges we confront it 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 step dim 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 but what Obama saw is doing the right thing. President Trump saw as an attack on carmakers below three months after president trunk took off. She came out to give some anti Michigan. It is truly great to be back here in Michigan. A major speech there, an invite ceos of several of the major automobile companies. Another you a w was there. It was kind of photo Gratuities speech kind of a bed I kept my word
saw on the american auto industry. Believe me is over over. Like you to have it anymore. Interestingly, nobody from EPA is an orbit 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 absolutely his admit, creation announced it was proposing it's very own, cafe, standards. The trump plan 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's team at the EPA would be doing the engineering analysis for people
Also like this. It said the Trump Administration work only with national Highway Traffic Safety Administration port needs. We were basically completely cut out of the analysis and we're kind of science comes into we. We know more about this than that, sir. We ve been working with them for seven years and then all of a sudden, a new administration comes in and we were completely cut out. I think they basically knew the answer that the White House wanted and they were gonna cook the books by twisting Every knob in that model all the assumptions they could too. The bottom line results at the White House wanted and run, they made me. Kind of ashamed and appalled GPA administrate
Andrew Wheeler Talk to Bloomberg NEWS about why he thinks there plan is better than Obama's. We have a go 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 department came up with that 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 pump 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 calls the logic the case of the fantastical disappearing miles, there's no real Chanel or justification anywhere it's not in the document Does not in the economic literature it doesn't pay?
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 they agree with Jeff. 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 the EPA Equip last year before the proposal was released to the public eye consciously made the decision and talked a couple friends and said I am actually thinking I might be able to have more of an impact on the outside. Then I'm
to be able have on the inside less far, Jeff spoke out at a hearing at a large hotel conference, all MR bunch of his former colleagues with their mostly people who work it needs a Jeff, accuse them of cooking the books and creating the most dishonest technical analysis. He'd ever seen. Most of them said quietly in their seats, there was very little Fourth, right after about an hour after the hearing panel, I went to the men's rush room and lo and behold standing of the euro. Should come in behind me in the understand, next year and all, but one of the staffers that nets HU. I had known for the 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 we're gonna have to change that, some shown about people driving less under the roll back right. It's just so bizarre He looked at me. He paused he looked over. Many goes. I can't talk about them, in July for major car makers dealt a blow to the trumpet ministrations. Cafe, Proposal Ford, Volkswagen, how that can be of w struck a deal with California, the nations largest car market. They agreed to meet a mileage standard which is almost as strict as bombers, but now the administration is fighting back, This department has open an investigation into whether those companies are violating anti trust loss.
That's all I was produced by the G, Bellini and Elizabeth showed the White House Wouldn TA. It was for this story and neither with the EPA administrators, but we did get an interview the former high ranking tromp official, who sees things differently from Jeff I would say that this administration has continued to fulfil the mission of EPA in a very meaningful way. That's mixed on reveal, from the centre for investigative reporting of pr ex. This is revealed Tamerlane. We ve been talking the trunk administration sidelined signs. For weeks we asked
shows at the White House, the EPA and the transportation department for all of our requests were denied, but a former Trump Administration appointee from a key EPA office to you to talk with my name's, mainly gonna Segura. I am currently the founder of a pro Trump nonprofit cod energy. Forty five, where the mission is to educate the public, 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 were you leave you almost two years but see a year and eleven months, a lot of things happening in that year and eleven months. But would 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
two is the repeal and replace of the clean power plan. I'm from my perspective, the last administration strained the interpretation of what EPA respect of responsibility wise under the pertinent provisions of the Clean AIR Act, and we, 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 maybe ask her to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the clean power plant. As we said earlier in the shop would have required. States use cleaner electricity, cutting down on these, of course, so that maniac. Why would you consider reviving coal is an accomplishment when you had the environmental Protection Agency, because it's not working the mandate almond, especially under the cleaner act, to to get rid of a particular industry and frankly the coal industry has been very success.
Full and implementing and reducing emissions, but it still the dirty form of energy. There is out there and we have other forms that could do the exact same thing that are not, as and also more cost efficient. One thing I want to push back on it is it 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 that- 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 this need of energy source to fuel the economy while ensuring important protection to reduce pollutants that are a by product of the combustion process. Dont
out in the air and and harm the public, public health or the surrounding environment, limitless move forward to the pears climate change 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 why it was ineffective? It was going to cost billions of dollars and it also was going to impede the president's deregulatory initiative on that was important. Two unleashing the unleashing that economic potential that we have enjoyed for the first two and a half years of his administration. The push 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 going,
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 there are legal question. The best thing we can do is export their technological advancements that that we have achieved in this country to the rest of the World Mandy. That is that that is so passive? That's like 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 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, 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 historically been the law just 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 will happen again: yeah you're, exactly right, things. Things were bad in the 70s. When I, when I was growing up, I remember that in LOS Angeles there was a puff of a smog so thick in LOS Angeles at a time's. It would be like a phone it doesn't happen the same way. It was when I was a kid in the seventies and eighties. I am saying is that the reason that is happening is because of regulation, and when you look at what the Trump Administration is doing with deregulation and really light taking resources away
from the EPA and making decisions that many former EPA administrators, both democratic Republican, say, are ignoring science or twisting it. So I would say that this administration has continued 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 their relative statutes to continue to clean up the error. In a very substantive way, which we have your back. And his lawyer you're a lawyer correct. Yes, so when you are at the EPA, you did away with a panel of experts who advised on soot and from our reporting. We have heard from several people from the EPA that
they are being pushed out or that the panel's at their working on or on 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 listening and following to it, if they're getting rid of all the people with the scientific expertise, so the agents isn't getting rid of a father people with with relative scientific expertise, and I would say in that particular instance, and we have a mandate committee called the Clean AIR scientific Advisory Committee, K, sack and this this particulate matter or as your four to it set subcommittee almost a part of that and so to say. Were made to get rid of redundancies essentially- and I would just say this to some of scientists, who are on some of these subcommittees? Brinkley, had gotten 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 clean air science advisory committee- you just mention- is led by Tony Cox what we said that air pollution does not harm people he's leading 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 regular. Had 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 went, I would say this The he he's one member of a board that has a number of members that one one perspective one representative and I represent here is 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 do
back the science and as a whole. The agency disagrees with air pollutants, not harming people. I understand what he That is, is offensive to you and I understand the perspective, but that is one small, tiny piece and what actually goes and to 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 completely inconsistent and different than what this one person has has said. What he said is not offensive to me. What he said is not true. I'm not I'm not disagree with you. I I think it's not just do saying it's not. I just think the attention it's getting takes away from, focusing on the good work that we're action. They dealing to ensure there are adequate help, base protections and place to continue to fulfil the mission of the agency.
Earlier in the show that we heard that present tromp is rolling back clean cars standards put in place by President Obama. Now the Obama rules would have reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly more than trumps plan event. The problem is that they were premised iron and 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 No zero emission vehicle out there, but the majority of Americans can afford to dry that you're saying that the Obama bomb administrations assertion that people were gonna buy more electric cars. Basically, Is flawed moraine, the one thing I would say, as a car company said that they could meet the standards under four examples. I dont roll back. The standards standards have been adjusted to comport with reality,
in, and I would just say this. What what is the point of have 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 does- step up as the leader of the world. I am just wondering what kind of world we're gonna have, so I would say that the United States is already a leader I would I argue with you on that. I guess my point would be. We are seeing climate change happen all over the world and if a man It 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, heard that 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 ass, alongside improved efficiency and how generate power in this country. In that that's very meaningful that's something that should and could be embrace internationally and I would 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 going to to old and 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
mainly gonna sacred. Thank you so much for talking. We appreciate it. Likewise, maybe gonna say work for the EPA under the Trump administration join me again. Real size are put at Lisbon, Chopin and Elizabeth. The last thing that Mandy Said- is that the latest, in greatest science supports her view that climate change isn't going to result in some catastrophic future did maybe get that right. Now she didn't in full,
at the latest in greatest science, which comes out of the United Nations Intergovernmental 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, some Andy's misrepresenting besides present trump. Does it to the road. Many rejects the sides. The 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 an environmentalist soon was behind this. Climate change has taken off as an issue and much
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 into line carbon emissions, including a majority of Republicans, six and ten voters, believe you S. Climate policy is seriously on the wrong track. So, as president drop heads towards the election is he just trying to re brand himself as an environmental is, or is he changing his actions to
There is no evidence that President Trump is changing his actions on the environment. In fact, just recently, his administration propose doing away with rules that will curtail the methane emissions from oil and gas drilling faceless with thank you out or leave producers this week or lose with sugar and in the jail me read: Myers in Turkey to meet its editor show that production, major windy in a host of original score and sound designed by the dynamic, do J Breeze, Mr Jim Briggs. No, my men get outta there engineering help from Amy Mustafa r C eel? Is Croatia from work met I've seen as our editor in chief executive producer is Kevin Sullivan. I think music by Colorado, lightened support for reveals provided by the River David Logan Foundation, the John D and Catherine teamwork,
the foundation, the Georgia Logan Family Foundation, the four foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journals foundation revealed is cooperatives, the centre for investigative reporting and p r x amount lesson and remember. There is always more to the story. yeah. These are last few shows of the year, and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter and this kind of investigative journalism. Well, it takes time and it costs money. These are the final weeks.
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Transcript generated on 2019-12-19.