Trump’s EPA stages sham public hearings as cover to roll back safeguards

What do you do when you are required to ask for public input on repealing swaths of regulations that protect public health and the environment, but you don’t actually want the public to participate? Well, if you are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration, you stage brief “outreach sessions”—in the bowels of Washington office buildings, or by conference calls, scheduled on short notice during the workday. Some of the sessions were announced with less than a week’s notice, while others have been closed to the public. The EPA also rejected RSVPs for another set of outreach sessions, claiming the meeting space was full. The cumulative effect is limited public participation, which taints the Trump administration’s process of “regulatory reform” from the start. Now, compare this to the EPA’s past practices of holding multiple public hearings and hundreds of stakeholder meetings in many cities and states for just one regulation—the Clean Power Plan.

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