Whose Side Will Scott Pruitt Really Be On?

Photo: Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt. Photo: Gage Skidmore via CC 2.0

Imagine you are hiring a new CEO for your company. You have hundreds of candidates to choose from, each of whom has extensive experience in the field, has spent their career supporting the company’s objectives and research, and has a vision to improve and amplify the work you do.

Then one candidate applies with no professional background in the field, a demonstrated hostility toward your objectives, and a plan for dismantling your company and firing your employees.

You hire that person.

Sounds absurd, right? Yet that is exactly how Scott Pruitt earned his Senate confirmation today to be Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We’ve heard this tune before from President Trump: giving the reins of our government to a career fossil fuel champion who has consistently placed the interests of Big Oil and Big Gas ahead of the American people. He did it with Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and he’s about to do it with Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy. But Scott Pruitt blows them both out of the (soon to be polluted) water.

When thousands of pounds of manure were poisoning Oklahoma’s once-bucolic Tenkiller Ferry Lake, Scott Pruitt chose inaction.

When advocates sought to improve Oklahoma’s long-outdated water pollution limits, Scott Pruitt chose inaction.

But when it was time for Oklahoma to comply with federally mandated EPA environmental regulations, Scott Pruitt actually chose action – he sued the EPA. Fourteen times. And each time he pressed arguments that EPA lacked the authority for new rules to protect clean air and clean water.

On every major decision, Mr. Pruitt has shown a vocal and vehement disdain for the work of the agency he is now tasked to lead. And that disdain is shared by his new boss, President Trump, who has been unequivocal in his belief that what the EPA does “is a disgrace.”

Scott Pruitt’s confirmation should be a shock, an embarrassment, and an outrage. But it should not be a surprise. If you are looking for someone to burn down the house, choose the career arsonist.

Already, Scott Pruitt has pledged to look at how he can begin to demolish the EPA. Well, Mr. Pruitt – you’ll have to go through us first.

New England has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our environment, and we know the boundless cost of inaction. We know the millions we save in public health costs by curbing pollution and the millions we earn through environmental tourism. Scott Pruitt is more than just a threat to our environment – he’s a threat to our economy, our safety, and our entire way of life.

The stakes are too high to stand idly by. CLF is ready for the fight. Will you stand with us?

Before you go... CLF is working every day to create real, systemic change for New England’s environment. And we can’t solve these big problems without people like you. Will you be a part of this movement by considering a contribution today? If everyone reading our blog gave just $10, we’d have enough money to fund our legal teams for the next year.