Public health, environment and wildlife will be put at risk
WASHINGTON— Today amid controversy and public outcry the Senate voted to confirm vocal climate change denier Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA several times to stop vital protections for public health and the environment. He has strong ties to the fossil fuel industry and has previously opposed crucial regulations against smog and toxic pollutants like mercury and arsenic. Pruitt is also opposed to stringent federal regulation of pesticides and has consistently protected corporate and factory farms at the expense of family farmers and animal welfare.
“Scott Pruitt does not respect the critical role EPA has to play in safeguarding Americans from the very real impacts of climate change and toxins such as pesticides, and this makes him unfit to lead the agency,” said Andrew Kimbrell, director of Center for Food Safety.
Pruitt has been one of the loudest opponents of the EPA, and even agency employees called their senators, urging them to vote against his confirmation as their new leader.
“It is a travesty that the very person who has been tasked with protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink has shown time and again that he is willing to put industry interests above the health and wellbeing of the public and our environment,” said Kimbrell.
This week an Oklahoma judged ruled that Pruitt would be required to release nearly 3,000 emails that he failed to send in response to outstanding public records requests, the first of which include correspondence between Pruitt as Oklahoma attorney general and fossil fuel donors like Devon Energy Corp., Peabody Energy Corp. and the American Petroleum Institute.
“We don’t need someone leading the charge at the EPA when they are in the back pocket of industry moguls, especially when that person is willing to roll back crucial regulations that ensure the safety of our food supply, wildlife, pollinators and the environment,” Kimbrell said.