January 19, 2017

Maine Scientists Tell Sens. Collins and King Pruitt “Unacceptable Choice”

Experts Call EPA Nominee a Threat to Public Health, Urge a “No” Vote

BANGOR, ME. (January 19, 2017)— Scientists, economists and health professionals in Maine will deliver letters today to the offices of Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King expressing their strong opposition to President-elect Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt. Collins, a Republican, and King, an independent, will be key votes on whether the closely-divided Senate puts Pruitt in charge of the EPA, an agency he has repeatedly tried to undermine as Oklahoma attorney general.

“Mr. Pruitt has spent his career challenging and undermining public health protections and critical science-based standards,” says the letter, signed by 76 Maine scientists. “We need an EPA administrator who will adhere to the science and preserve these protections rather than erode them to the benefit of industry.”

The scientists say that the EPA has an important role to play in protecting Mainers and reducing the risk of climate change—but that Pruitt’s record shows that he simply won’t do the job, and his confirmation would pose a threat to public health.

As the scientists and experts note, just two laws enforced by the EPA—the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule—will save Maine some $680 million in health costs every year and prevent premature deaths, yet Pruitt sued the EPA to block these rules. Pruitt has consistently opposed the EPA’s ability to enforce laws that keep Maine’s air clean.

In addition to their letters, scientists are speaking out in opposition to Pruitt with a full-page ad running today in the Bangor Daily News, Sen. Collins’ hometown paper, and a number of experts are holding a press conference today in Portland asking their Senators to reject Pruitt.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.