Trump hires smart people

From the New York Times, Saturday:

…legal experts and White House officials say that in Mr. Pruitt’s haste to undo government rules and in his eagerness to hold high-profile political events promoting his agenda, he has often been less than rigorous in following important procedures, leading to poorly crafted legal efforts that risk being struck down in court.

[snip]

Six of Mr. Pruitt’s efforts to delay or roll back Obama-era regulations — on issues including pesticides, lead paint and renewable-fuel requirements — have been struck down by the courts. Mr. Pruitt also backed down on a proposal to delay implementing smog regulations and another to withdraw a regulation on mercury pollution.

The EPA action that made the headlines last week was the rollback of Obama-era rules that were intended to cut vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases. Well, Pruitt and his team put together a “38-page document filed on Tuesday that, experts say, was devoid of the kind of supporting legal, scientific and technical data that courts have shown they expect to see when considering challenges to regulatory changes.” By contrast, when the EPA proposed the rule it did so in a “1,217-page document justifying its implementation of the regulation included technical, scientific and economic analyses justifying the rule.” Even more ridiculously, “most” of those 38 pages consist of

arguments quoting directly from public comments made by automaker lobbyists, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Global Automakers, that the pollution rules will be unduly burdensome on the auto industry, as well as public comments from Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi.

Oh. Well then. If the rule might require the industry to do something it doesn’t want to do, then of course it should be stopped before it takes effect.

…it does not contain what environmental experts say is the critical element of a legally strong justification for changing an E.P.A. regulation: Technical analysis of both sides of the argument leading to a conclusion aimed at persuading a judge that the change is defensible.

I guess we should all be thankful these people are stupid. They can’t do as much damage as clever people can.

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