WASHINGTON (February 17, 2017)—The Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marks a low point in the United States’ history of environmental and public health protection, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of UCS.
“Congress just confirmed a nominee who has spent his professional career suing EPA to stop the agency from performing its fundamental mission of ensuring clean air and water for all Americans. This confirmation is a sharp break from precedent, in which most EPA administrators from both parties came to the office with a demonstrated commitment to EPA’s mission. With this confirmation vote, which was largely along party lines, we enter a new era in which one side of the aisle is intent on leveling the safeguards they supported for over fifty years.
“Now that Mr. Pruitt is in office, I hope that his rigid stances and alignment with Oklahoma’s oil and gas interests will evolve, particularly as he learns from EPA’s hardworking and committed workforce. I hope he comes to embrace EPA’s mission to keep Americans safe from the effects of pollution, including greenhouse gases, and toxic substances, like mercury and lead that carry significant health risks. In the meantime, Mr. Pruitt should also recuse himself from the eight active cases in which he is suing EPA as Oklahoma’s attorney general; this will help address the obvious conflicts of interest here. We will be watching.”
For additional information, please see Kimmell’s blog here.