New York, NY - February 1, 2017 - Today the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is slated to vote on President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Environment New York’s Director, Heather Leibowitz, issued the following statement in response:
“This country needs an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator whose top priority is protecting our air and water and our families’ health. We need somebody willing to enforce and defend our bedrock environmental laws and a leader guided by science when creating and implementing policy.
“Our next EPA administrator needs to put public health ahead of dirty energy interests and other polluters, understand that climate change is real, and commit to taking bold action to stave off its worst impacts. Unfortunately, President Trump’s nominee for EPA Administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, meets none of those criteria. In fact, during his recent confirmation hearing Mr. Pruitt claimed that human impact on climate change was a matter of “continuing debate.”
“As attorney general, Scott Pruitt joined with polluters to file 14 lawsuits against the very agency he has been nominated to run. These suits aimed to dismantle critical public health safeguards ranging from the Clean Water Rule that protects drinking water sources for 117 million Americans to the Mercury and Air Toxic rule that protects our kids and other vulnerable citizens from highly damaging pollution.
“In addition, as Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt disbanded the state’s environmental protection unit. He was the leading opponent of the Clean Power Plan which set the first ever national limits on carbon pollution and undercut actions to clean up major poultry pollution problems in his state’s river system.
“When asked during his hearing, Mr. Pruitt could not name one current EPA protection that he supported.
“New Yorkers and all Americans deserve an EPA administrator who will fight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we love. Scott Pruitt fails on all these accounts. The Senate must stand with science. The Senate must stand up for our families’ health, clean water and clean air. The Senate must reject President Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.”
Environment New York is a state-wide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open space.