1. Consider what the Environmental Protection Agency does. The mission statement below comes from the current iteration of epa.gov; I do not know whether page content has been removed since Jan 20. Although the EPA mission includes ensuring that national efforts “are based on the best available scientific information,” our nation’s 3-week old administration has already tried to keep several government agencies from sharing their data with both the public and Congress. Scientists have urged the administration to share science, and to use it themselves to make much better decisions.
- The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
- EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
- all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn, and work;
- national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
- federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
- environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
- all parts of society — communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments — have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
- environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and
- the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment
- EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
To accomplish its mission, EPA’s site explains that it develops and enforces regulations, gives grants, studies environmental issues (**Still includes climate change research info – someone may want to save this asap**), sponsors partnerships, teaches people about the environment (**Still includes climate change info – someone may want to save this asap**), and publishes information. The page also includes guidance on who can help with issues EPA does not address.
2. Review Scott Pruitt‘s track record. He has sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times. That alone calls into question his fitness to lead the EPA, notwithstanding the content of the suits themselves. He has called the agency’s work “a disgrace.” Pruitt seems to think the EPA has no statutory role in environmental protection. Mr. Pruitt has long been an opponent of any environmental protection that challenges business’ ability to ignore environmental safety. He has no track record of balance. He has no track record of respecting science.
When Pruitt was Attorney General of Oklahoma, he allegedly wrote a letter to the Obama administration’s EPA with concerns about or regulation could threaten the vigor of natural gas exploration in his state. In reality, “the attorney general’s staff had taken [Oklahoma oil & gas company] Devon’s draft, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature,” according to the New York Times.
Pruitt is unapologetically hostile toward the reality of climate change, and toward clean water, clean air, and the environment itself: “This man’s LinkedIn profile proudly proclaims him to be “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” and his past actions demonstrate how true that is,” according to OneGreenPlanet. WHY PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF AN AGENCY HE OPPOSES? The current president said in February 2016 as a candidate that he wanted to cut the EPA altogether. Putting Pruitt in charge of it might be how he makes that happen.
Advocacy and debate are one thing. Green jobs notwithstanding, there are legitimate differences of opinion about many environmental issues. Let’s have those conversations. Wanton deception and destruction enabled by partisan denial are another story altogether, and cannot be tolerated. Our planet is at stake.
Democratic senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee were so concerned about Mr. Pruitt‘s lack of appropriate qualifications AND their lack of access to the due diligence required to complete their ‘advise and consent’ role, that they refused to take part in the hastened “hearings” held by the Chair, Senator John Barasso (R-Wyoming). The Committee suspended its own rules requiring two members of the minority party for a legitimate vote, and voted 11-0 t move his name to the Senate, with zero input from the minority party.