April 19, 2018
Anyone who has seen Pruitt cradle a big-eared bat pup in the crook of his arm while railing against industrial waste could never doubt the necessity of the twice-monthly Tulsa Shuttle. The only thing even remotely comparable is the $5,000 nightly bill at the Breakers in Palm Beach during the time Pruitt was studying the effect of plastic waste on the migratory baby sea turtles who mistook the bright lights of Pruitt’s rented Jeep Cherokee for the light of the moon and scrambled toward the vehicle, soon to be smashed under the front wheels and devoured by raccoons.
And then there’s the myth of that room on Capitol Hill that Pruitt rents from the wife of an energy lobbyist who has business before the EPA. The $50 a night—only on the nights that Pruitt uses it—does not include cable or satellite, so Pruitt has to spend his entire time there finding National Geographic videos on his laptop, the better to understand clear-cutting in the Tongass National Forest, Timbisha Shoshone grazing rights in Death Valley National Park, phosphate detergent pollution killing the sea cows, as well as, of course, YouTube videos by assorted whack jobs explaining how carbon dioxide has no role in global warming.
So the next time you see some fake news about Scott Pruitt’s profligate spending or his need for rock-star-level security, pause for a moment and reflect on the time he went to Lenexa, Kansas, to check the diesel exhaust on the school buses, only to be met by thugs hired by the Blue Bird Corporation of Fort Valley, Georgia, bent on defending the legacy of the Blue Bird TC/2000, or the time he visited the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in New Jersey, where a lead-smelting company has polluted the earth and water with arsenic, antimony, and copper, and where his own plastic jogger’s bottle of sparkling San Pellegrino “tasted a little funny” after he left.
Before we condemn this man for just doing his job, maybe we should think about what would happen if someone else were in charge of those elementary-school asthma triggers, someone who didn’t bother to surround himself with muscle, fly first class, stay in hotel suites that are protected from Australian or Italian ownership, and make sure his lieutenants, all lovers of the environment, are constantly on the alert for upgrades. The Big Pharma manufacturers of inhaled corticosteroids would have the guy in a coffin the next day.