Columbus (Jan. 12, 2017)— Scientists, engineers and health professionals in Ohio have delivered a letter today to Sen. Rob Portman’s office expressing their strong opposition to President-elect Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt. Portman, a Republican, will be a key vote 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 102 Ohio 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 Ohioans 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 Ohio some $32 billion in health costs for 2016 and prevent up to 3,900 premature deaths, yet Pruitt has sued the EPA to block these rules. Pruitt has consistently opposed the EPA’s ability to enforce laws that keep Ohio’s air and drinking water safe.
In addition to the letter, scientists are speaking out in opposition to Pruitt with a full-page ad running in the Cincinnati Enquirer this Sunday.