The Frontline Film titled “War on the EPA” provides insights into the way in which the regulations around the EPA have changed since President Trump was elected, how the Obama administration effected these changes, and how the leaders in charge got to be where they are today. While watching this documentary I took notes to ensure that I reported the facts correctly. However, many of my notes say things like “What the heck,” “How did we get here,” “Do these people even know what progress means.” With that being said this documentary showed a lot of the ugliness that the current administration contains. It also made it very clear whom the current head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is working for and it is not the people of the United States.
Scott Pruitt once served as the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma. This state relies heavily on the fossil fuel industry for their local economies. Based on this reliance, the suggestion that the fossil fuel industry be monitored or taxed because of its effect on the environment scares many residents of Oklahoma. Instead of promoting other job opportunities, such as wind energy and/or solar jobs, Scott Pruitt decided to support the fossil fuel industry. He referred to President Obama’s Clean Energy Initiative as a federal overreach that should be illegal. He began to accept funding from entities such as the Competitive Enterprise Institution and the Americans for Prosperity. Both of these entities defend fossil fuels and deny climate change. That’s right, the head of the EPA is on the same side as those that DENY CLIMATE CHANGE. The Americans for Prosperity organization even gives money to congressmen and women who pledge to not discuss climate change or support initiatives that believe it is affected by the fossil fuel industry.
One of the most disturbing parts of this documentary was that a reporter found that Pruitt has been using the exact same emails that Devon Energy, a natural gas and petroleum company, sent him to send to other government officials as if they were the concerns of his constituents. Yes, Devon Energy may have employees who qualify as Pruitt’s constituents; however, they are definitely not the only ones. This means that Pruitt was utilizing the wants and needs of an energy company to push government action. An important note to add is that Devon Energy gives money to the Republican Attorney General Association (RAGA) and that RAGA gives Scott Pruitt money. Therefore, indirectly Devon is paying Pruitt to push their agenda above the agenda of others. Pruitt did not stop taking the opinions of fossil fuel companies and groups once he became the head of the EPA. In fact, one of the richest fossil fuel and oil tycoons was in this documentary discussing how he urged Donald Trump to “control the EPA” and has given Pruitt a three to four page to-do list that Pruitt has already completed the first page of. These things have been to try to dismantle as many of the regulations around coal, oil, and fossil fuel industries as possible; no matter their effect on the environment.
There is clear bias in my review of this documentary. However the Frontline producers did their best to eliminate bias from their documentary. Individuals from both sides of the argument of whether or not the EPA over steps when they put regulations on certain industries the opportunity to state their opinions. However, the dirt that they are willing to uncover and the title of the documentary show clear biases. I would like to point out though that many of the individuals on the side of the argument that support Pruitt’s destruction of the EPA were the ones in the documentary referring to this as a war. Those on the other side were more so referring to the current administrations actions as sad and scary.
Link to documentary: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/war-on-the-epa/