Scott Pruitt may be in charge of the EPA, but you can rest assured that among the rank and file staffers there are a bunch of folks from old Obama era gang who are still hanging around. Needless to say, they’re not exactly thrilled with the direction the Trump administration has taken in terms of rolling back costly and oppressive regulations to focus on projects which actually produce results. So when the management started putting up a few promotional posters reinforcing the ongoing work and their successes to date, not everyone was happy.
What do you do when you’ve seen something relating to current policy which upsets you? Why, you leak it out to somebody at the New York Times immediately, of course! (Government Executive)
The Environmental Protection Agency wants its employees to know it is proud of all they accomplished in 2017, even if that amounted to undoing the work they did in 2016.
In an array of posters displayed at EPA offices across the country, the agency is applauding “a year of great environmental achievements for America.” The posters include among notable accomplishments the preliminary repeal of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and walking back the Waters of the United States rulemaking. In a display listing its “New Environmental Achievements,” EPA notes it provided “confidence for American families” and “certainty for American businesses.”
The agency also boasted that its Superfund taskforce is “encouraging private investment” while expediting cleanup and land reuse.
Some of the posters showed up on Twitter, particularly on the account of NY Times reporter Eric Lipton. Here’s the super offensive one.
EPA has put these posters up at agency buildings. Celebrating regulatory rollbacks pic.twitter.com/vwGHy54oq9
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) January 25, 2018
It was John O’Grady, the president of the government workers union representing many EPA workers (the AFGE), who called the posters “propaganda” according to the article.
Look through some of those posters and the achievements being promoted on them and tell me if it sounds like propaganda. So the Superfund Taskforce is expediting cleanup and making responsible parties pay for cleanup costs. How horrible. Oh, and they’re also “encouraging private investment.” That must be the one that put them over the edge, even though “encouraging” does not translate to mandating. Touting the elimination of wasteful regulations is surely a sore spot for many of these workers, given how hard they labored under the Obama administration to regulate everything under the sun. But there’s a new boss in charge and he gets to set the priorities. If that’s too much for you to handle, perhaps you’re really not cut out for government work.
In the end, however, I’m guessing what really ticked them off wasn’t the text on the posters. It was the pictures. Seeing Trump’s smiling face and that of Scott Pruitt must drive them up the wall. And that’s just a darned shame. I really do feel for them.