After the election last year, many institutional waves of panic that hit Washington, D.C. but only a few were as fast as the one at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After Donald Trump won the elections, there has been angst and even some tears for federal workers at EPA and other agencies, Independent Journal Review reports.
E&E News reported that U.S. EPA employees were in tears and worried Energy Department staffers were offered counseling. Some federal employees were so depressed, they even took time off and others might retire early. Some employees are in a downright panic mode after Trump’s victory.
John O’Grady, the president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 said that people were upset and some of them had taken the day off because of their depression after the Election Day. O’Grady, who works in EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago said that people were recommended to take sick leave and go home.
Once President Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, the panic got even worse. The Boston Globe reported that employees of EPA have been calling their senators to urge them to vote against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the EPA. Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in EPA offices around the country said that the calls are the last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting, by a president who has vowed to “get rid of” it. John O’Grady said that Mr. Pruitt’s background speaks for itself, and it comes on top of what the president wants to do to EPA.
But the reality is that Pruitt can’t begin his new job by firing a lot of people. Christine Todd Whitman, the former EPA administrator, and New Jersey governor predicted a standoff between career employees and their politically appointed bosses, noting that Pruitt will be blocked by legal Civil Service protections from immediately firing longtime employees but would likely be able to retaliate against them in other ways, such as shifting them to different jobs. The confrontation could encourage the White House and Congress to change federal Civil Service laws.
Despite the failure of the preventive strike by EPA staff to prevent Pruitt’s confirmation, the union plans to continue resisting whatever President Trump and Scott Pruitt have planned for them.
On Friday, the U.S. EPA congratulated Pruitt on his confirmation via Twitter, despite all the plans expressed by the EPA’s union.
We’d like to congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation! We look forward to welcoming him to EPA.
— U.S. EPA (@EPA) February 17, 2017
According to Reuters, President Trump is expected to sign some executive orders connected to the EPA agency in the coming days.
Tell us your opinion about all of this in the comments below.
SHARE this post if you support President Donald Trump and his decisions!