Scott Pruitt Will Serve Industry Not the People If Confirmed to Lead the EPA

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is yet another extreme choice in a long list of reprehensible cabinet nominations by President Trump.  

Ecology Center has signed on to a letter, along with 172 other environmental organizations, opposing the nomination of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The letter asks our senators to reject his nomination based on his troublesome track record as Attorney General in regards to protecting human health and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency was created to protect people and the environment from corporate polluters who would pollute our air, our water, and cause great harm to our environment. As Attorney General, Scott Pruitt has sued the EPA numerous times for regulating carbon emissions, improving interstate air pollution, preventing airborne mercury, and for cleaner water standards. In short, Scott Pruitt has opposed every measure taken by the EPA to protect the health of families.

This leads one to question why in the world would Scott Pruitt want to lead an organization that he has such disdain for? The answer to this important question lies in his questionable alliances, his ties to the oil and gas industry. A 2011 letter signed by Pruitt sent to the EPA disputing the EPA’s methane emissions estimates of natural gas was authored by one of Oklahoma’s largest oil/gas companies. In addition to this blatant conflict of interest highlighted by the 2011 letter, his political campaigns have received significant financial contributions from Fossil Fuel industry giants. Pruitt's loyalties lie with industry, not the people.  

If questionable alliances and obvious disdain for the EPA were not enough to substantiate that Pruitt is unfit to lead the EPA, there is more. Pruitt denies or minimizes that climate change is a manmade phenomenon. He also believes that the federal government oversteps its bounds and advocates that the power to protect human and environmental health rest in the states. However, this completely ignores that when the power to protect air, water, and the environment was regulated by the states in the 50s and 60s, the states demonstrated incapable of effectively doing so. Congress passed the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1990 due to state negligence. In fact, the EPA was created due to the state’s inability to regulate air, water, and the environment. And, since the EPA’s creation, air pollutants have dropped by an average of 70%.  Regulations by the EPA (many of which Pruitt has aggressively fought against) prevent premature deaths, heart attacks, and asthma. It’s worth noting that Michigan’s asthma rate is higher than the national average and we have some of the most polluted areas in the nation. A Pruitt-led EPA will not benefit Michigan. A Pruitt-led EPA will protect industry over the people.

Scott Pruitt is the wrong choice for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Period. Now is the time to act. Congress is scheduled to vote on Mr. Pruitt's appointment on Wednesday. Don't delay, contact your Senator now and tell them to reject Scott Pruitt's nomination. 

--Mara Herman, Ecology Center Health Outreach Coordinator


Published on January 30, 2017