WASHINGTON, February 1, 2017—The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has advanced Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, putting the question of his confirmation before the full Senate. His confirmation would be a threat to public health and senators must vote no, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Scott Pruitt has been evasive and misleading in his confirmation hearings, but one thing is clear. Pruitt will not carry out the job of EPA Administrator to robustly enforce our environmental laws and ensure the clean air, clean water and pristine lands that all Americans deserve. When the EPA doesn’t do its job, American lives are put at risk.
As I and other former state environmental commissioners have pointed out, science needs to come first for the head of EPA. Yet Mr. Pruitt has sued the EPA repeatedly to prevent it from enforcing the law and even from relying on clear scientific evidence. It is also crucial that an EPA Administrator put the public interest first. Yet Mr. Pruitt has allied himself to the oil and gas industry, and directed public lawyers in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office to focus on lawsuits that benefit that industry. In these lawsuits, he displays a single-minded focus on the cost of public safety protections to industry, and doesn’t seem to understand the benefits of these protections to public health and safety.
Pruitt’s record gives us no reason to believe that he will vigorously hold polluters accountable or enforce the law. Pruitt may not have answered senators’ questions, but everything we do know makes it clear that he can’t and won’t do the job. Senators need to vote no.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.