Among Pruitt’s proposals are repealing the Clean Water Rule, which protects tributaries, along with more than half of U.S. streams, Rumpler noted. And the Trump administration has already paused an Obama-era rule that aimed to limit the dumping of toxic metals produced by power plants into the nation’s waterways.

“So repealing the rule could leave companies like Consol with a license to pollute. Even local citizens would lack legal recourse to stop illegal pollution of such tributaries,” he said.

“Finally…Pruitt’s decision to extol the virtues of a coal mine flies in the face of everything we know about the science of climate change and the economics of energy policy,” Rumper added. “We need to stop burning dirty coal for the future of the planet, and increasingly, low-cost renewables like wind and solar are leading the way. Pruitt’s Thursday visit to Consol is a throwback to the dirty polluting past.”

The Trump administration’s budget proposal would also cut EPA funding by 31 percent and lay off 25 percent of its employees. Last week, a 30-year staffer quit with a public letter to Pruitt warning him that “many EPA staff are becoming [increasingly] alarmed about the direction of EPA under your leadership.”

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