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With the Trump administration hellbent on truly, madly, deeply cutting back the EPA to the point that it ceases to do any "protection" of the "environment" (which isn't a real thing anyway), there's at least one part of the EPA that administrator Scott Pruitt wants to expand: While the nation can obviously do without a program to prevent children from being exposed to lead paint, at least we can rest easy in the knowledge that Scott Pruitt himself will be safe, since he wants to increase his personal security detail by 10 new security folks, so he can have 24/7 protection from all the crazies who are out to get the head of the EPA.

Quartz's Zoe Schlanger notes that all agency heads have some level of security; for the EPA, it's usually security agents to escort them while they travel from one office to another or to an airport. But Pruitt wants to be the first EPA administrator with round the clock protection, according to a New York Times piece on how budget cuts will affect the EPA. The move would more than double the current number of staff used for security at the agency, which usually only has six and eight agents.

Lucky ducky Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education has also gotten a security upgrade; instead of being guarded by six agents working for the Education Department, DeVos rates a full security team from the U.S. Marshall Service, for the low, low price of about a million bucks a month. Yes, she's been the subject of threats, and we wouldn't want anything to happen to her other than an intense attack of self-awareness that leads her to resign and devote her life to helping the poor. But $1 million a month doesn't strike us as proportionate to the usual threats faced by an Education secretary, maybe? It's not like anyone's making her eat the mystery meat at my old elementary school, HAW HAW.

And why is Scott Pruitt in need of his own army of security?

According to Myron Ebell, who led Trump’s EPA transition team but is no longer employed by the administration, Pruitt is at risk from his own employees—and “the left.”

“I think it’s prudent given the continuing activities by the left to foment hatred, and the reported hostility within the agency from some unprofessional activists,” Ebell told E&E News.

Oh man! Those scary leftists! You know how they're always having protests, so it stands to reason they're likely to try to come after Scott Pruitt. As we all know from the NRA's scary 2006 graphic novel about why everyone needs guns (if you've never read the thing, enjoy this PDF), environmentalists and animal rights activists are all hairy-legged women who train owls, angry livestock, and land lobsters to do their violent bidding:

The new security staff haven't been hired yet, but don't worry about Pruitt's security: That E&E News piece notes that while the agency works on getting in-house Enviro Guards, Pruitt's vital security needs are being met by shifting special agents away from EPA's criminal investigation division -- on a volunteer basis, of course -- to guard the administrator. Sure, they may not be able to investigate environmental violations while they're on bodyguard duty, but that's OK, since the EPA seems to be getting out of that business anyway.

If the American people don't want toxic sludge dumped in their rivers, maybe they could have a bake sale and hire their own security guards.

[Quartz / NYT / E&E News]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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