The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was
always junk science-fueled and the government should get out of
science, so arctic drilling and a revived coal industry can boost
the economy, speakers said at a fossil fuels conference in Houston
sponsored by right-wing groups whose work was praised by EPA
Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The Heartland Institute advocates for decreased government
regulation and has been described as the leading U.S. organization
pushing climate-change skepticism. The Illinois-based institute
hired former Kansas congressman and Tea Party Caucus Chairman Tim
Huelskamp as its president in July.
Several conservative groups and political action committees
cosponsored the conference, including The Heritage Foundation, the
Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the Ayn Rand Institute.
David Koch, a top executive at the energy and commodities
conglomerate Koch Industries, founded Americans for Prosperity.
To celebrate the first anniversary of Trumps election, The
Heartland Institute held an America First Energy Conference on
Thursday at a Houston hotel, where Pruitt praised its work in a
Since taking over the EPA in February, Pruitt has rolled back
President Barack Obamas Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions from power plants, and withdrawn the Waters of the United
States rule, claiming it puts too many bodies of water, even dry
creek beds, under federal jurisdiction.
The attitude before we arrived said that you cant be about
growth and jobs and also be a good steward of the environment,
Pruitt said via video. Thats inaccurate. Thats a false
I want to say to you at The Heartland Institute, thanks for what
you are doing to advance energy. Thank you for what youre doing to
advance natural resources. Weve been blessed immensely as a
Several panels focused on how the EPA is changing under Trump
and Pruitt, and multiple panelists criticized the agencys history
in the pre-Trump era.
The EPA was always junk science-fueled, said Steve Milloy,
founder of JunkScience.com and author of Scare Pollution: Why and
How to Fix the EPA, during a Reforming EPA panel. We need to get
government out of science, especially in the EPA, he said.
Milloy claimed the Obama administration paid climate scientists
to doctor data to bolster the narrative that fossil fuels
contribute to global warming.
Panelists said they want to undo the Endangerment Finding, an
official proclamation from the EPA in 2009 that says greenhouse
gases are driving global warming. Milloys prescription for the
agency is simple: We want to shrink the EPA, he said.
One panelist likened Trumps industry-friendly stance on climate
change to a holiday.
We had a door opened, and it was opened when Trump was elected
president. Its like Christmas, said David Stevenson, director of
the Center for Energy Compet...