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Ex-EPA chief: Agency will need '20 to 30' years to recover from Pruitt
A former administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicted that it could take the agency "20 to 30" years to regain its full capability after the Trump administration cut its budget and repealed many of its regulations.
Carol Browner, who served as EPA administrator from 1993 to 2001, during the Clinton administration, told The Huffington Post that the agency would have to start from the beginning if the Trump administration is able to successfully repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.
"Under Pruitt, what they're doing is conscientiously tearing the place down," Browner said, referring to current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
She also noted the Trump administration's proposals to significantly cut the EPA's budget, saying the agency would need a bigger budget to restore it to full function.
Other former EPA administrators also told The Huffington Post that the agency had been damaged under Pruitt.
"If [former President] Obama's name is near it ― irrespective of whether it's good, bad or indifferent ― they're undoing it," Christine Todd Whitman, who was EPA administrator from 2001 to 2003 under former President George W. Bush, told The Huffington Post.
"To just mindlessly do it is ... mindless. There's no other word for it."
And Gina McCarthy, an Obama-era EPA administrator who led the agency from 2013-2017, said Pruitt's efforts are actually creating more confusion after he promised to make it easier for businesses.
"The challenge that this administration is posing, and it's certainly not limited to the EPA, is they've created a wealth of uncertainty. At EPA, it's uncertainties in the business community. Do they ever take rules seriously if every administration undoes everything the prior administration did?" McCarthy said.
Pruitt has promised to revamp the EPA, and has undone many regulations put in place by previous administrators.