A top Environmental Protection Agency official submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday over the direction the agency is taking in the Trump administration.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland resigned after 30-years working at the agency with a scathing farewell letter where she claimed that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.” Previously, she worked as the science and technology director in the Office of Water, as Conservative Fighters reported.
“The truth is there is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities,” Southerland stated, directly declining most of Trump’s claims.
Southerland stated that since EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt started running the agency, dozens of guidelines intended to protect the environment had been repealed, and Trump’s suggested budget cuts to the agency would ruin its ability to implement existing protections and introduce new ones.
She focused especially at Trump’s request that for each new one added, two federal guidelines are removed from the books.
“Should EPA repeal two existing rules protecting infants from neurotoxins in order to promulgate a new rule protecting adults from a newly discovered liver toxin?” she stated. “Faced with such painful choices, the best possible outcome for the American people would be regulatory paralysis where no new rules are released so that existing protections remain in place.”
She said in addition that previously the EPA had been a “guiding light to make the ‘right thing’ happen for the greater good,” however that Trump’s administration has limited the ability of the agency to protect the planet.
“It may take a few years and even an environmental disaster, but I am confident that Congress and the courts will eventually restore all the environmental protections repealed by this administration because the majority of the American people recognize that this protection of public health and safety is right and it is just,” Southerland wrote.
An EPA spokesman pushed back on the timing of the letter of resignation, telling E&E news “it’s hard to believe that Elizabeth Southerland is retiring because of a budget proposal and not because she’s eligible for her government pension.”