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(Analysis) Nearly Half Of Trump’s EPA Appointees Have Industry Ties

(U.S. Department of the Interior)

The appointees are lobbyists or lawyers for chemical manufacturers, fossil fuel producers and other corporate clients.

It appears safe to say at this point that President Donald Trump has far from kept his campaign promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, and proof of his failure can be found in those the president has brought in to run the Environmental Protection Agency -- nearly half of whom have connections to the industries they are tasked with regulating.

An analysis by the AP shows that nearly half of the political appointees hired at the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump have strong industry ties. Of 59 EPA hires tracked by the AP over the last year, about a third worked as registered lobbyists or lawyers for chemical manufacturers, fossil fuel producers and other corporate clients that raise the very type of revolving-door conflicts of interests that Trump promised voters he would eliminate.

Most of those officials have signed ethics agreements saying they would not participate in actions involving their former clients while working at the EPA. At least three have gotten waivers allowing them to do just that.

Craig Holman, who lobbies Washington on behalf of the government ethics advocacy group Public Citizen, said Trump's promises during the campaign are shown in hindsight to be nothing more than rhetoric:

“I was very surprised and at the same time very hopeful that he was going to take his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ seriously,” Holman said Wednesday. “It is now quite evident that the pledge was little more than campaign rhetoric. Not only are key provisions simply ignored and not enforced, when in cases where obvious conflicts of interest are brought into the limelight, the administration readily issues waivers from the ethics rules.”

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