Unacceptable: Scott Pruitt to head EPA
His appointment would threaten the long-term health of the planet
President Donald Trump has nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This nomination requires confirmation by the US Senate, a process that began with hearings conducted by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee on January 18. The process will continue with a committee vote and then a full Senate vote sometime after Trump’s inauguration.
What does the head of EPA do?
- The EPA is a federal agency charged with protecting human health and the environment. It drafts regulations to enforce the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, initiates enforcement actions against polluters, conducts research and education, and ensures the successful implementation of federal laws concerning the environment and related health topics.
Why is Scott Pruitt unacceptable?
- The EPA should be headed by a leader who is passionate about protecting the environment within the US and across the globe, and who is committed to the welfare of Americans who depend on clean air and water for their health. Pruitt is more likely to dismantle the agency than carry out these crucial goals.
- With long financial ties to the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt is a leading climate change denier, rejecting the overwhelming scientific consensus that current trends will produce massive sea level rises, increased flooding, super-storms, severe droughts, wildfires, crop failures, and mass extinctions. He even rejects the view of US national security experts that climate disruption will force millions of people to migrate from low-lying coastal areas, with the potential to destabilize democratic governments worldwide.
- As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt has repeatedly sued the very agency he has now been appointed to lead, attempting to block enforcement of a 2011 rule limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants, a rule that has saved over 11,000 lives; the “Regional Haze” rule, intended to reduce haze-causing pollution from power plants near wilderness areas and National Parks; the “waters of the United States” rule, which expanded protection of the Clean Water Act to more bodies of water throughout the country; and regulations to reduce the production of ozone, a chemical that contributes to smog. Most importantly, he has repeatedly challenged and will now seek to eliminate President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is the largest US effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in history.
- These lawsuits demonstrate that Pruitt is more concerned with protecting the profits of coal, oil, and gas companies than he is with safeguarding our nation’s environment or the health of its people. His refusal to accept the reality of climate change threatens the well-being of literally everyone on the planet.
What can I do?
- Stop Pruitt Now. Call your US Senators and urge them to speak out forcefully in opposition to his confirmation.
- Senator Charles Schumer (Syracuse office): (315) 423-5471
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Syracuse office): (315) 448-0470
- Join the CNY Solidarity Coalition. We meet most Sundays at 3pm, and all are welcome. For more info: (315) 472-5478, CNYSolidarity@gmail.com, https://cnysolidarity.org/, https://www.facebook.com/cnysolidarity/, @IndivisibleNY24.