July 5, 2018

Pruitt’s Departure Welcome, But Overdue

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (July 5, 2018)—Following a series of scandalous revelations about his conduct in office, Scott Pruitt will no longer serve as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His departure is a positive step, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists—not just because of his personal corruption but because of how his actions have violated the mission of the agency. 

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

“It was clear from the beginning that Scott Pruitt had no interest in protecting public health and safety, and it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t dismissed until he became a clear political liability.  

“While he clearly violated ethical standards and bilked taxpayers, he inflicted far worse injury on American children and families by abandoning science and the EPA’s public health and environmental mission. Mr. Pruitt reversed a proposal to ban the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, going against all credible scientific advice. He moved to increase cancer-causing air pollution from major industrial sources across the country. He threw out years of research to undo vehicle standards that have delivered cleaner cars.  

“It’s time for the EPA to clean house.    

“In 1983, after a series of ethics violations plagued the EPA, President Reagan turned to Bill Ruckleshaus to lead the agency. The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness. The next EPA administrator needs to be someone who will uphold independent science and commit wholeheartedly to the agency’s science-based mission of protecting public health and the environment. Until then, Congress should conduct considerably more oversight because political appointees at the EPA are sidelining science and compromising the agency’s effectiveness."

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.