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A thread about big lies by Trump's @EPA, attacks on clean air health safeguards & a toxic legacy Trump wants to leave behind to block future protections against smog, toxic air pollution & dangerous climate change. EPA is executing it all during a global respiratory pandemic. 1/
This thread is prompted by today’s expected @EPA action to undermine safeguards against mercury, lead, arsenic & other toxins from power plants that burn coal & oil; & a declaration that it’s not “appropriate” or “necessary” to regulate these toxins.… 2/
Most dangerous of all, the Trump @EPA will rule—for 1st time— that it's OK to ignore all benefits that clean air rules achieve by reducing all forms of regulated air pollution. This move is meant to block or constrain future clean air & climate change safeguards, beyond Trump. 3/
My focus here is on just 2 words used by former coal lobbyist, @EPAAWheeler, to justify these sweeping attacks: he will argued the attacks are based on an “honest accounting” of the direct benefits of controlling mercury pollution, alone.… 4/
This will be @EPAAWheeler's perverse argument to justify ignoring the full benefits of clean air rules that reduce a range of air pollutants that harm health, including by causing asthma attacks, heart attacks &and strokes, and premature death. 5/
Avoiding these harms delivers actual benefits in the real world, mind you, by actual air pollution control devices used to meet enacted regulations.

Ignoring those full benefits, with the Orwellian phrase, “honest accounting,” is the very opposite of honest accounting. 6/
I first heard this perversion of the truth in a hearing (A Threat to America’s Children: The Trump Administration’s Proposal to Undermine Protections from Mercury Air Toxics Standards) where @EPAAWheeler’s now chief-of-staff, Mandy Gunasekara, testified for EPA's proposal. 7/
Early in the Trump @EPA, Ms. Gunasekara had addressed a coal conference & infamously assured them she was there to “make sure what [EPA] was doing in D.C. is beneficial” for the coal industry.… 8/
She further reassured the crowd at the 2017 Disney World coal conference: "I don't see a room of polluters. I see a room of partners ….” 9/
In her 2019 testimony, Gunasekara charged the Obama @EPA’s life-saving Mercury & Air Toxics Standards for power plants are based on a “dishonest accounting mechanism”— considering the full benefits the rule achieves by reducing multiple air pollutants.… 10/
@EPAAWheeler is expected to echo this same charge later today, according to a leaked draft of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg Environment, @environment.… 11/
What makes @EPAAWheeler’s charge so startling is he & @EPA have relied on the same ‘accounting mechanism’ to consider all benefits, direct & indirect, from reducing all air pollutants, including so-called co-benefits of fine particle reductions, in numerous Trump rollbacks. 12/
To call @EPAAWheeler’s ‘dishonest accounting’ charge hypocritical & disingenuous would be too generous: his rollback rampage has CONSISTENTLY considered so-called ‘co-benefits’ of (de)regulation, & CONSISTENTLY refused to do what EPA will do, today: ignore co-benefits. 13/
Let’s start with some recent @EPA rollbacks, including the rollback of Obama @EPA clean car standards just 2 weeks ago: there, @EPA & NHTSA justified the (illegal) rollback with a variety of purported “co-benefits” or “ancillary” benefits.… (1276, 1661) 14/
The clean cars rollback championed the governing WH DIRECTIVE to consider “ancillary” benefits, in a policy that for 17 years has required fed. agencies to consider & monetize ALL benefits of agency rules, including ancillary benefits (co-benefits).… 15/
Let’s look at the Trump @EPA rollback of the Obama Clean Power Plan & Trump’s substitute joke, the so-called “Affordable Clean Energy” rule for climate-damaging air pollutants from fossil fuel-burning power plants. 16/
The ACE rule relies *extensively* on the co-benefits of reducing deadly fine particle pollution to try (unsuccessfully) to argue that the benefits of this do-nothing rule outweigh costs to Americans.… 17/
The Trump @EPA repeal of the Obama Clean Power Plan also relied heavily on *foregone* “co-benefits” that resulted from deadly fine particle pollution *increases*..… 18/
Indeed, the word "co-benefit" appears 113 times in @EPA's analyses of these two rollbacks of climate change safeguards. 19/…
Example 4: the Trump @EPA’s proposed rollback of methane & greenhouse gas standards for the oil & gas industry considers the *foregone* “co-benefits” of fine particle & ozone pollution increases that the rollback will produce.… 20/
Considering these fine particle pollution reductions as “co-benefits” in these 4 climate change regulations, is *identical* to considering fine particle pollution reductions as co-benefits in an air toxics rule, which @EPAAWheeler now dismisses as ‘dishonest accounting.’ 21/
There are many more examples of @EPAAWheeler’s hypocrisy and no counter-examples, wherein @EPA refuses to consider co-benefits & dismisses them as ‘dishonest accounting.’

Until today’s Trump @EPA attack on the Mercury & Air Toxics Standards, that is.… 22/
An ‘honest accounting’ of all co-benefits, including fine particle pollution cuts, is consistently OK to support @EPAAWheeler’s rollback agenda, but that practice becomes ‘dishonest accounting’ for him when it supports stronger safeguards for air quality & Americans’ health. 23/
Commenting on mercury attack, Indiana U. Prof. @DavidKonisky gets at what the Trump @EPA attack is all about, the poisonous legacy Trump & @EPAAWheeler want to leave behind: more rollbacks & blocking future safeguards for the climate & air quality.… 24/
And lo’ & behold, just on Friday, former coal lobbyist @EPAAWheeler sent over to the Trump White House a proposed rulemaking to overhaul & ignore the way that benefits are considered & credited across the *entire* Clean Air Act, to handcuff future presidents. 25/
The reckless, audacious agenda by Trump & @EPAAWheeler is to deny Americans clean air & a safe climate long after they leave office.

And it all starts today, during a global respiratory pandemic, with an EPA attack to undermine life-saving Mercury & Air Toxics Standards. 26/26
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