Ammonium Nitrate Chemistry

Too Many Steps Back

The US EPA's resident supervillain* Scott Pruitt has been brutally efficient at winding back clean air and water provisions.  Journalist Marianne Lavelle does a great job of dissecting just how he has done this to America's air pollution rules in a detailed article over at Inside Climate News.

I don't want to be all doom-and-gloom here, because our planet has actually made tremendous progress in battling air pollution.  There have been steady gains in much of the developed world and growing public and political awareness in many developing nations.  Frustratingly, though, it is often a case of three steps forward, two steps back.  Now Scott Pruitt appears to be orchestrating perhaps the greatest leap back of all time.

The great air quality success story of recent decades has actually been the USA.  Their progress was empowered by the Clean Air Act and driven by the EPA, in work that was supported at its base by fundamental science and engineering.  Major gains were made in reducing ground level ozone and nitrogen oxide concentrations in urban hubs, with huge flow on benefits to the nation's health and economy.  America, you were the envy of the world.  I hope you can get back there.  

* No, I don't actually believe that Scott Pruitt has superpowers, this was merely for dramatic effect.  In reality I see him as more of the Bond-villain type.