EPA staffers were in panic mode at the news of Donald Trump’s election victory.
In the wake of the president-elect’s promises of sweeping reforms at the bloated federal agency, employees were in tears and were offered counseling, E&E News reported.
“U.S. EPA employees were in tears.”https://t.co/cmxpsBoe3A
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“People are upset. Some people took the day off because they were depressed,” John O’Grady, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, said. The union represents thousands of employees of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“People were crying,” O’Grady, who works in EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, added. “They were recommending that people take sick leave and go home.”
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Trump had vowed to repeal many of the agency’s far-reaching rules enacted under President Obama, including the Clean Power Plan which cuts power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions. Trump’s EPA transition team will be lead by Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a top climate change skeptic.
“If you look at the seven stages of grief, I’m still in denial. I will not look at the news. I will not read the news,” one EPA employee said, according to E&E News.
“I think it’s a sadness and a worry about just how far someone will go, especially when you never believe anything he says,” an Energy Department staffer said. “Many of us have worked in both the Bush and the Obama administrations, and I don’t think that we feel like it will be like just going back to Bush again.”
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Silvia Saracco, a union chapter head representing North Carolina EPA workers consoled employees, noting “There is a lot of angst out there, nervousness.”
“We all have to keep in mind that we are federal employees,” she said. “We swear allegiance to the Constitution, and we are executive branch employees. Whoever wins the election is who gives us the direction that we’re to go in. That’s our job.”
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