July 10, 2018

Pruitt’s Truck Decision a Test for New Administrator Wheeler

Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (July 10, 2018)—On his last day as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt announced the agency would not enforce pollution rules for “glider” trucks, which often use higher-polluting older engines. That’s a mistake—and an opportunity for Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator, to show how he’ll run the EPA, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at UCS. 

“The last-minute decision to stop enforcing rules limiting pollution from glider trucks is classic Pruitt. It’s arbitrary, unjustified and legally sloppy; it defies scientific facts and the mission of the agency; and it puts human health at risk largely to the benefit of one company. It’s a perfect example of why Scott Pruitt should never have been in  a position of power at the EPA in the first place.

“Now, this decision poses an important choice for the acting administrator. The EPA’s own research shows that closing the loophole that allowed glider trucks to use old engines saves 1,600 lives every year by cutting dangerous pollution. If Mr. Wheeler takes the mission of the agency seriously, enforcing this rule is, obviously, the right thing to do. This is a defining moment for him. 

“Mr. Pruitt’s bevy of personal scandals helped drive him out of office, but the most disturbing thing was how uninterested he was in protecting public health. The question now is: will Mr. Wheeler change course?” 

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.