Kentuckians can be proud of Trump’s EPA pick

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dear Editor,

Folks throughout our Commonwealth, from the deep mines of eastern Kentucky to those above and below ground to the west can be proud of Danville’s own Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt, a native son who has spent the majority of his life in Oklahoma, will soon lead the Environmental Protection Agency.  Having spent his early years in Boyle County, Scott Pruitt moved to Lexington, attending UK, then on to Georgetown College earning his undergraduate degree. He then graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law.  

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During his career as an attorney in the private sector, he immersed himself in the science of energy, challenging, often litigating against the very agency he will soon head. Pruitt later distinguished himself through the Oklahoma State Senate and ultimately the Office of Attorney General.  

Considering the EPA’s decades-old stranglehold on energy production and exploration, we are optimistic that coal, oil and natural gas will soon begin getting fair and reasoned scientific examination. In turn, jobs here in Kentucky’s coal regions and other energy forms across America will follow.

A personal reflection on “dirty” coal in the 1950s:

A) we shoveled soft coal down to our furnace;

B) we stoked that belching behemoth night and day;

C) black dense smoke rose from our chimney; and

D) we cleaned deep soot within the walls of our home!

Seeing today’s clean clear steam billowing from Herrington Lake’s power plant tells me we’ve come a long way. There has been significant progress in environmentally safe, clean-burning coal.

Compare and contrast that with China. They’re opening new coal-fired plants without America’s stringent oversight. Germany is going back on its drift away from coal, reopening retired facilities. Environment?! Kentucky and America cannot survive that economic environment when faced with duplicitous multi-national behavior.

And that financial impact is felt far beyond coal. Over 700 steel workers in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky lost coal-related jobs early this year. Thus, railways are on “life support;” restaurants, motels and mom-and-pop shops face deep recession.  

Based on these compelling facts and the credentials Scott Pruitt brings to the EPA, we welcome change!

Tom Ellis