Why Doug Ericksen is Dangerous

9 months ago Citizen#7 0

The Trump administration has tapped Washington state’s 42 district Senator Doug Erickson to be the temporary Communications Director for the Environmental Protection Agency.

In an interview with Jan. 25th interview with NPR Sen. Ericksen said “We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going to reflect the new administration,” Ericksen told NPR. Ericksen did not say whether such a review process would become a permanent feature of Trump’s EPA. “We’re on Day 2 here. … You’ve got to give us a few days to get our feet underneath us.”

Sen. Erickson has said he will keep his old job and travel back and forth between Washington D.C., and Olympia and Whatcom County. He also said he is interested in being the head of EPA region 10 which oversees Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska as well as 271 Native American tribes.

In a Jan. 25th interview with NPR Sen. Ericksen said this about his new job “We’ll take a look at what’s happening so the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going to reflect the new administration,” Ericksen told NPR. Ericksen did not say whether such a review would become a permanent.

Ericksen’s comments come days after Trump’s team ordered agencies to limit their external communications to the public. Employees at the EPA, the Department of Agriculture and the Interior Department, among others, have been instructed not to post on social media accounts. At the EPA, the staff was told not to speak to the news media.

This is not normal as Sen. Ericksen has stated. In fact it is in direct opposition to the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy.

Sen. Ericksen’s views about the First Amendment are questionable. January 9th 2017, he introduced Senate Bill 5009 the “Economic Disruption Act”. Ericksen defines “Economic Disruption” as;

Influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; and

Obstruct, hinder, or delay the passage of any train, truck, car, ship, boat, aircraft, or other vehicle or vessel engaged in the carriage, hauling, transport, shipment, or delivery of goods, cargo, freight, or other item, in commerce; or

Interferes with, tampers with, damages, or obstructs any pipeline facility, bulk oil terminal, marine terminal, tank car, waterborne vessel or barge, or power plant.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all terms of confinement under this section are mandatory, shall be served in total confinement, and shall run consecutively to all other sentencing provisions.

A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of the crime if, with knowledge that it will promote or facilitate the commission of the crime, he or she:

Solicits, commands, encourages, or requests the other person to commit the crime; or aids or agrees to aid the other person in planning or committing the crime.

This legislation is directly aimed at protesters who successfully blocked the construction of what would have been the nations’ largest coal terminal the “Gateway Pacific Terminal”. The ACLU has raised questions about First Amendment rights and Ericksen’s  Economic Disruption Act.

While Sen. Ericksen may express deep concern for the environment is political positions, as Sen. Ericksen sponsored a proposal for a greenhouse gas reduction credit for businesses in 2015 in response to proposed legislation by Governor Jay Inslee.

In 2016 Sen. Ericksen introduced a bill aimed at blocking any carbon limits in Washington and  introduced an amendment altering a reference to humans as the definite cause of climate change . He is also Washington states’ third largest recipient of campaign dollars from the fossil fuel industry.

It is worth noting seven months ago, then candidate Trump visited Whatcom County Washington and held a rally at the Whatcom County Fairgrounds organized by the same Sen. Ericksen.  The rally cost Whatcom County 128.532 and another $173,652 for various state agencies or a total of $302,184.

While Sen. Ericksen may talk about his passionate stewardship of the environment one only needs to look at what he has done as Senator to know he is not a friend of the environment but is widely loved by the fossil fuel industry as his legislation shows.

Just last week it was announced that 2016 was the hottest year on record. This exceeded the record of 2015, which exceeded the record of 2014.

Can we afford another politician that takes issue with 97 percent of all climate scientists that believe human activity is causing climate change?

How can we be sure the reports from the EPA under the Trump administration are accurate and true if they must be approved by their team to ensure the reports are in alignment the policy of a President and EPA Communications Director that disputes the impact of human activity on the planet?

Call Doug Ericksen and let him know you believe in science and want honest information from the EPA not sanitized by anyone.

Sen. Ericksen can be reached at: (360) 786-7682

Reference Documents:

EPA Scientific Integrity Policy

Economic Disruption Act