By Chris White
Threats against officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and administrator Scott Pruitt have spiked 50 percent during the past year, according to an NBC report.
EPA’s Office of Inspector General launched more than 70 investigations into threats against Pruitt and others at the agency, the Oct. 6 report noted. None of the threats resulted in injuries, but they were deemed legitimate risks to officials.
“I do feel we’ve prevented acts of violence through our investigations. I feel very confident we have,” EPA assistant inspector general Patrick Sullivan told reporters about the magnitude of the threats Pruitt and others received. Threats against Pruitt were responsible for the sharp increase.
“Sometimes people are mentally ill,” he said. “Sometimes they’re members of radical groups on the left side of the political spectrum or the right side. Sometimes they’re members of domestic terrorism organizations.
An EPA spokeswoman told reporters that the agency does not respond to questions about death threats against the administrator.
Most of the threats stem from the politically volatile atmosphere created after President Donald Trump started rolling back several of his Democratic predecessor’s climate regulations.
Trump and Pruitt have managed to nix more than 50 of former President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations, including the Paris climate agreement and the so-called Clean Power Plan both of which targeted emissions from coal power plants across the country.
Environmental activists ratcheted up rhetorical barbs against the EPA and Trump during the first few months of the president’s term.
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