Scott Pruitt is a well known adversary of the EPA. So why would Trump appoint him to head up an agency he loathes? One reason: to slash the guts out of the EPA. Remember, the EPA and major federal environmental regulations were originally established by REPUBLICANS! But for years Republicans have vowed to strip the EPA of its ability to create and enforce regulations, falsely blaming “environmental regulation” for a number of corporate woes, such as for the decline of the coal industry.
The EPA is the only organization in the country responsible for clean water and clean air legislation, federal environmental regulation and enforcement, scientific research, public education, sustainability studies and economic productivity assessments related to protecting both environmental health and human health in the arenas of natural resources, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry and international trade. In Utah, the only progress on tackling our enormous air pollution problem has come from EPA pressure. Without the EPA, there will be no progress in Utah for clean air.
Trump has vowed to strip the EPA of many of its important responsibilities, to gut the originally bi-partisan Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan despite the fact that a majority of Americans support it.
Don’t let a nominee like Pruitt remove these invaluable protections to air, water, the environment and human health. Speak out before Pruitt begins his hearings at 10AM EST tomorrow!
CALL TO ACTION
- Tell our Utah Senators and the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Members to uphold the Clean Power Plan and the Paris climate agreement and to strengthen the EPA (not gut it)
- Ask our Utah Senators and the Senate EPW Committee Members to reject Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA
- Pruitt sued the EPA to block environmental rules: Pruitt has repeatedly sued the Environmental Protection Agency to stop environmental regulations that are at the core of the EPA’s mission from taking effect, including rules to slash carbon pollution from power plants, protect children from toxic mercury pollution, reduce air pollution near our national parks and clean up America’s polluted waterways.
- Pruitt sent letters to the EPA on behalf of big polluters: In 2011, just after he entered office as Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sent a letter to the EPA that was actually written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of the biggest oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. In the letter, Pruitt protested EPA’s plans to study the impact of fracking – just as fracking induced earthquakes were rocking Oklahoma. The letter was personally given to Pruitt by Devon’s top lobbyist, and Pruitt reportedly “copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature.”
- Pruitt’s campaigns were funded by the fossil fuel industry:Pruitt has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry. In fact, his list of campaign contributors is essentially a “who’s who” of big polluters, including Koch Industries, PACs connected to Exxon Mobil, Alpha Natural Resources, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, the American Gas Association, oil magnate Harold Hamm, Peabody Energy and Southern Company.
- Pruitt falsely claimed climate science is “far from settled”: In a May 2016 op-ed for National Review, Pruitt claimed that the “debate” over climate science is “far from settled.” He went on to write that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” This is a lie.
Pruitt boasts that he leads the charge against pollution limits on toxic substances like soot and mercury, putting people at increased risk for cancer, childhood asthma and other health problems. He also falsely claims that fracking doesn’t contaminate drinking water supplies.
Pruitt has filed numerous lawsuits attacking commonsense safeguards that reduce industrial pollution from the fossil fuel industry, and has even been part of a coordinated national corporate campaign to undo the federal pollution protections that are supposed to keep our air and water clean. In exchange, he has received nearly $315,000 from the fossil fuel industry since 2002.
Big polluters are pumping millions of dollars into a secretive political organization created to force Pruitt’s nomination through the Senate. Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the agency with authority over environmental and public health protections would be a boon for polluters who have spent decades evading EPA safeguards that protect clean air, clean water, wildlife, our communities and our health.
The EPA is responsible for upholding national air quality standards and regulating discharges of pollutants into bodies of water to protect people and the environment. We demand an EPA administrator who will carry out its mission, not someone who has spent his career trying to tear it down.
The head of the EPA should be working to ensure that our air is clean to breathe and our water is safe to drink—not to ensure that polluters get a free pass.