Dec 12, 2017

Pruitt in Morocco discussing natural gas

Amy Harder, author of Generate

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been in Morocco to talk about the U.S./Morocco trade agreement and how American natural gas can help the Moroccan economy, according to an agency official.

Why it matters: Natural gas, which produces 50% less carbon emissions than coal, has been a key part of the environmental platform for an administration that has otherwise focused on rolling back regulations. Morocco hosted the United Nations climate talks last year.

Between the lines: Pruitt has taken a very broad definition to what his mission is at the agency, whose stated mission is to protect human health and the environment in the U.S. It is not customary for the environmental chief of the U.S. to be touting natural gas as an economic solution to another country.

One level deeper: The EPA has faced criticism for not publicly alerting the administrator’s travel ahead of time. It was not previously publicly known than Pruitt was traveling abroad.

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The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

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The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.