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EWG News Roundup (1/27): Trump’s Media Blackout at EPA, Okla. Enviros Push Back on Pruitt and More

Friday, January 27, 2017

The first week of the Trump administration is just about over, and what a week it’s been. It started with a media blackout at EPA and a freeze on EPA grants to states and localities used to protect drinking water and air.

Several leading environmental attorneys from Oklahoma traveled to Capitol Hill to provide testimony refuting Scott Pruitt’s claims that as the state’s attorney general he helped enforce environmental protection. When asked by senators to identify a single action Pruitt undertook in his official capacity to protect public health and the environment, his fellow Oklahomans couldn’t think of one.

There was a lot of other happenings this week, too.  Here’s some news you can use as you start your weekend.
 

Trump’s Meddling with EPA

Associated Press: EPA contract freeze, media blackout leave states confused

“Vladimir Putin must be proud,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. “The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment.” Reprinted 312 times.

Washington Post: Federal Agencies Ordered to Restrict Their Communications

Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement that the new restrictions were significant cause for concern. “Vladimir Putin must be proud,” Cook said. “The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what's being done to protect or harm public health and the environment. Americans of all political stripes should be furious.”

Newsweek: Trump Freezes Grants, Approves Pipelines and Considers Sharp Budget Cuts At the EPA

Picking up a line from Trump’s inaugural address, the Environmental Working Group was quick to speak out against “the carnage President Trump is about to unleash on the environment, public health and the integrity of science itself,” said EWG’s president Ken Cook. The memo, said Cook, details how the new administration “will push to undo important safeguards that in many cases literally save lives.”

Fox Business: White House Fires Back Amid Claims it Told EPA to Erase Climate Change

The non-profit Environmental Working Group also fired off a statement saying the “EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment.”

UPI: White House says it will 'look into' reports of Trump-ordered media blackout; critics alarmed

"Vladimir Putin must be proud," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement Tuesday. "The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what's being done to protect or harm public health and the environment.

Chemical Watch: Trump administration blocks EPA communications to public

“The EPA, like all federal agencies, is funded by taxpayer dollars, and Americans have the right to know what’s being done to protect or harm public health and the environment,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.
 

Trump’s Choice to ‘Run’ EPA, Scott Pruitt

Daily Kos: The Trump Administration and America’s Waste Problem

While campaigning for president, Trump repeatedly threatened to dismantle the EPA as it exists today. Many in Washington, including the current head of the Environmental Working Group, view Pruitt as a hostile administrator and a serious threat to safe drinking water, clean air, and landfill reduction.

High Country News: Meet Trump’s Interior, EPA and Energy picks

According to the Environmental Working Group, the opposite is true: Oklahoma and the EPA had already set phosphorous standards for the Arkansas River in 2003. According to The New York Times, in 2005 executives at poultry companies sued by Oklahoma’s previous attorney general over water pollution, and lawyers representing them, donated $40,000 in personal funds to Pruitt’s attorney general election campaign.

Inside Climate News: EPA Pick Pruitt Abandoned Environmental Protections in Oklahoma, Lawyers Say

The Environmental Working Group, after taking a dive into campaign finance records, revealed that executives and lawyers for those companies gave more than $40,000 to Pruitt's 2010 election campaign.
 

Trump’s pick for Ag Secretary, Sonny Perdue

Washington Post: Climate change has big implications for farmers. Will Sonny Perdue get that?

While the responsibilities of the agriculture secretary don’t directly state that he or she must consider climate change in decision-making, Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at Environmental Working Group, said the next secretary should. “Frankly, the next agriculture secretary should be leading efforts to require more environmental stewardship in exchange for the nearly $140 billion subsidies taxpayers provide to agriculture every year,” Faber said.

The Huffington Post: Trump’s Pick For Agriculture Secretary Is A Climate Denier, Too

“Everything we know about Sonny Perdue shows he’s going to put the interests of big commercial farmers, farm lobbyists and farm chemical companies ahead of the interests of small farmers and public health,” Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, said Friday by phone.

The Inquisitr: Former Democrat Named Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue Knows Farming, Agribusiness and Politics

Scott Faber, of the Environmental Working Group, criticized Trumps choice, according to Agriculture.com. “It’s certainly hard to imagine that a former fertilizer salesman will tackle the unregulated farm pollution that poisons our drinking water, turns Lake Erie green, and fouls the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico,” Faber said.

Common Dreams: Trump’s Pick for Ag Secretary Has ‘Bigly’ Ties to Big Ag and Big Food

Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that between 1995 and 2014, he cashed in on $278,679 in taxpayer-funded subsidies for his various businesses.
 

Cosmetics and Skin Deep

New York Magazine – The Cut: The ‘Natural’ Skin-Care Line Sephora Can’t Keep in Stock

But in a time when reading the Environmental Working Group and mainstream beauty publications can make you question what “works” and what is “safe,” CEO Tiffany Masterson promises that her line does “all the homework for you.”

Self: Is Your Makeup Causing A Rash? Here's What You Need To Know About Cosmetic Allergies

Once you’ve identified the ingredient you’re sensitive to, use resources like the North American Contact Dermatitis Society database, the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website, and ClearForMe.com to find products that are safe to use.

Augusta Free Press: Earth Talk: Any recommendations for vegan health, beauty products?

According to researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), one in eight of the 50,000+ ingredients used in many of our favorite lotions, lipsticks and lathers are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins and hormone disruptors. Reprinted four times.
 

EWG’s Lawsuit Against FDA Over Formaldehyde Failure

CNN: Ode to hair: Ivorian women champion afros

Last month the Environmental Working Group in the US filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration for failing to respond to the dangers posed by chemicals in hair straightening treatments such as formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

True Viral News: FDA sued for ignoring dangers of formaldehyde in hair-straightening products

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has filed a lawsuit against the FDA, accusing the agency of failing to address the ongoing use of toxic and carcinogenic formaldehyde in hair-straightening products.
 

EWG’s Meat Eater’s Guide

Forbes: 9 Things You Can Do About Climate Change

If everyone in the U.S. gave up meat and cheese just one day a week, it would be equivalent to not driving 91 billion miles, or taking 7.6 million cars off the road, according to the Environmental Working Group

Mind Body Green: Here's What To Eat (And What Not To) To Save The Environment

According to the Environmental Working Group, although methane gas emissions and amount of feed required for lamb are comparable to that of beef, lamb provides less edible meat which makes it the worst animal protein for the environment.
 

EWG’s Shopper’s Guide Pesticides

Huffington Post Blog: Meatless Monday: A Lesson in Organicology

They also rank among the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen, the crops with the highest pesticide residue. You owe it to yourself and the planet to choose organic produce.
 

EWG’s Water Filter Guide

AlterNet: Here's How to Find Out If Your Tap Water Is Okay to Drink

The Environmental Working Group has comprehensive water filter database that lets you select exactly which nasties you don’t want to drink and the site will pop up with the best filter systems for your home and your budget.

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