A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Worst member of a historically rotten cabinet — drum roll, please — Yes, it’s Scott Pruitt

Identifying the worst member of President Trump’s historically rotten cabinet is akin to picking out the most malodorous skunk at a polecat farm. The senses reel. Literally. Amazingly, despite the presence of jaw-dropping incompetents like Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one contender is lapping the field and, to borrow the renowned phrase...

Bill Straub: The biblical world view as seen by certain folks may not square with Bible — or the rest of us

Even in these trying days of division and bitter partisanship most everyone can agree that God, who has been on the job controlling the heavens and the earth for a goodly number of years now, is a pretty busy guy, or gal if your theological sentiments lean in that direction. Now the deity is considered pretty much infallible by most of his/her followers, who take issue only when the lord steps aside...

Rural Blog: National, state statistics show EPA head Scott Pruitt’s claims about coal jobs are false

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent claim that coal jobs are up 20 percent this year is false, according to national and state figures. Pruitt made the claim during an interview with Louisville’s WDRB-TV last week. Scott Pruitt U.S. Department of Labor numbers show that there were around 50,000 coal mining employees in January 2017 and 51,200 employees as...

Bill Straub: Scott Pruitt and the EPA he is leading is not protecting the environment for the long term

Anyone clinging to the notion that Belle Brezing is the most notorious prostitute ever produced by Lexington isn’t paying attention to the antics of Scott Pruitt, top dog at the Environmental Protection Agency. While it can be argued that the services provided by Ms. Brezing and her employees did little real harm to the denizens of Fayette County and those visiting town for the races back in the...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky now has friend at EPA, but work for coal jobs, families must continue

Under President Obama, the EPA didn’t want to come anywhere near Kentucky coal country. Now, the people of Kentucky finally have a friend at the head of the EPA. I was proud when Administrator Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s pick to lead the agency, accepted my invitation to come back to his native Kentucky in his professional capacity. In Hazard – the heart of coal country – I stood shoulder-to-shoulder...

Rural Blog: EPA chief says war on coal is over as he announces plan to repeal Clean Power plan

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told coal miners in Kentucky that he will propose repealing a rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants,” The Washington Post reports. “Speaking at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Pruitt said his agency will publish the new rule Tuesday.” The move was expected, given...

Bill Straub: EPA chief Pruitt playing games with nation’s health, safety to gain energy industry favor

WASHINGTON – Scott Pruitt, the Kentuckian in charge of what little is left of the Environmental Protection Agency since the Trumpsters took a chainsaw to it, is very much like the pet shop owner in the famous Monty Python “dead parrot’’ sketch. Confronted by an irritated customer demanding a refund for a rather obviously deceased “Norwegian Blue’’ purchased a half hour earlier, the pet...

Bill Straub: Stance of Pruitt, Trump, McConnell on global warming issue does a disservice to the nation

WASHINGTON – Apparently they don’t offer course work in science or mathematics at Lafayette High School and Georgetown College, two of the educational institutions that deigned to issue a degree to Scott Pruitt, but they must offer some great classes in magic – the administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency just conjured up 50,000 new coal mining jobs out of thin air. Pruitt, yet another...

Coal-fired power plants will continue to close despite change at EPA, Brookings researchers say

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, administrator-designate of the Environmental Protection Agency, has threatened to dismantle EPA’s Clean Power Plan to end the “war on coal,” but that phrase “is a false narrative that oversimplifies what is happening in the energy economy,” write Devashree Saha and Sifan Liu of the Brookings Institution, a old-line liberal think tank. Pruitt...

Bill Straub: Kentucky native Pruitt in position to carry out Trump’s environmental dirty work

WASHINGTON – Kentucky has quite admirably endeavored over the past 30 years or so to transform its once moribund system of public education into something at least reaching for excellence, an effort that has fortunately met with some success. But every once in a while the commonwealth is confronted by one of its failures, proof that it still has work to do. Sometimes that evidence is embarrassing....