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By Mikey Jane Moran

"There are no cod left in Cape Cod," said a New England chef with a shrug of his shoulders. And he really means no cod. The salty docks of Gloucester, Massachusetts—once the hub of American fishing culture, bustling with wind-blown fishermen hauling nets full of squirming fish—is nearly deserted.

Due to decades of overfishing, coupled with warming oceans, fish counts within New England's cod fisheries have dwindled to 3 to 4 percent of their historic levels, according to National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates. Populations are facing collapse.

Sacred Cod follows the stories of the people whose way of life is disappearing along with the fish. Fishermen are selling their boats, coast-side industry is drying up and coastal towns once rich with heritage lie abandoned. What was a $118 million fishing industry in the 1990s is now a $9 million industry.

"You may be shaking the hand of the last ice man in Gloucester," said one lonely businessman featured in Sacred Cod. Fewer fishermen, after all, translate to less demand for ice. "We sell more T-shirts than ice."

The documentary details how last-ditch government fishing bans have fomented a culture of mistrust between the scientific community and those fishermen who rely on full nets to support their families. Now, all are in a race to find a compromise before the Gulf of Maine becomes a ghost coast. The documentary portrays climate change not as a looming problem but as a reality shaping lives and communities in the here and now.

David Abel, environment reporter for the Boston Globe and one among a team of filmmakers behind Sacred Cod, has been documenting the cod population collapse since it was first on the horizon, tracing the nuanced problem it has become. We spoke with him about the documentary and about his hopes for the future of cod.

Mikey Jane Moran: You've poured years of research into this topic. Why cod?

David Abel: Cod itself is this iconic species. A wooden replica of the fish hangs from the rafters of the [Massachusetts] state house—it's a symbol of what brought Europeans to the states. It's what sustained the pilgrims when they first moved here and built New England into one of the wealthiest places on the planet. And [the industry's] collapse has caused tremendous hardship for many fishermen.

While Sacred Cod never loses its environmental message, its storytelling stems primarily from the perspective of the fishermen. Why this approach?

We wanted to make people understand there are tangible, human consequences to changes in our environment and to decisions made by government agencies like NOAA. Efforts to regulate things like fisheries in some cases have very meaningful impact on people. We have seen a dramatic collapse in this once incredibly abundant fishery and that collapse has led to hundreds of fishermen losing their jobs. We thought it was important to connect the environmental concerns with the human concerns.

This is an issue of the commons—it impacts everyone. Yet, the two sides are at odds. What is the hope for a compromise?

Everyone's hope, no matter where they stand, is that the fishery rebounds. If you ask scientists and bureaucrats, they hope that surveys are wrong and that the data somehow is flawed. But in repeated surveys, the data seems to be borne out that cod have declined substantially. Scientists and regulators are not trying to make fishermen miserable. There is an argument for trying to reduce the pressure on cod so hopefully, one day, they can rebound, as we are seeing in other places, like Newfoundland, Canada.

The hope is that fishermen and federal regulators recognize the benefits of protecting the fisheries and protecting the fishermen. Trying to find a way to create a sustainable fishery is vital to the health of the ecosystem and the health of the community.

The documentary ends on a somewhat happy note. Are you optimistic about the state of cod in New England?

I don't think it has a happy ending as much as an offer of hope and a recognition that things can change. If we really commit to creating sustainable fisheries—by creating rules that are sensible and that work—a fishery that has been decimated can rebound. Not all endings have to be apocalyptic.

Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.

Photo credit: Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association

By Breena Kerr

March marked the first time in a drought-parched decade that Anza-Borrego Desert State Park—located in the Colorado Desert about two hours outside San Diego—saw 10 inches of rain. This is according to Norb Ruhmke, acting district superintendent for the Colorado Desert District. In a normal full year, he said, the Anza-Borrego desert gets six inches.

Park guide Sally Theriault added that it was the first time since she moved to Borrego in the early 1980s that she could remember visitors arriving before employees, filling the parking lot by 8 a.m. It was also the first time she could remember highway patrol officers shutting down the S22, the main highway leading into town, because traffic was so bad.

That's because for a few weeks this March, all that rain triggered an unprecedented spring "super bloom" of annual wildflowers, including sunflowers, sand verbena, dune evening primrose and ocotillos. The onslaught of visitors to the park, Theriault said, had the feel of Disneyland, overflowing with tourists in shorts and sneakers, cameras in hand. "There were people arriving in their cars and asking where the rides were."

Anza-Borrego is no theme park. It's an arid, sandy desert with the Borrego Valley at its center. The park is surrounded by the Vallecito Mountains to the south and the Santa Rosa Mountains to the north. The sun is shadeless and punishing and for the majority of the year, shrubs and rocks dominate the landscape.

Many of the visitors who turned out for the super bloom were flower enthusiasts—some came from as far away as Washington State, the East Coast and even Japan, according to Theriault. Many had never been to Anza-Borrego before but had seen reports of the super bloom via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and afterward hopped in their cars to see the phenomenon for themselves. Some out-of-towners, unaccustomed to the wildness of park roads and overly trusting of technology, followed GPS imperatives into sand-filled ditches and required help getting out.

Ruhmke said park officials posted updates on its website about where to find flowers, in hopes that flower pilgrims would spread out across the park. But most came straight to the visitor center, which saw 90,000 visitors in March—between 2,000 and 5,000 every day. In years past, Theriault said, that number has been closer to 30,000 annually; during summer, when the temperatures can spike well beyond 100 degrees, only a couple hundred people tend to visit each day.

"The word seemed to get out faster this year and more people seemed to be coming to the visitor center," Theriault said. "We were really just about at capacity."

According to Theriault, the super bloom did indeed live up to its hype—at least for a couple of colorful weeks. By now, most of the flowers have dried up, but Theriault said it was the biggest bloom she could remember since the spring of 2005.

Ruhmke said that while most people congregated at the visitor center during the bloom, the "most majestic" flowerscapes were in Coyote and Henderson Canyons. "For me to enjoy the desert," he said, "I really have to get away from the crowds." But, he's confident that those who came during the bloom found what they were looking for.

"There's nothing better than when you're driving down to Montezuma Grade and dropping down into the desert floor," he said. "It's beautiful."

Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.

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By Heather Moyer

Judith Enck has some real worries about the future of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Trump administration, but she also has faith in the agency's career staff.

As the former regional administrator of EPA Region 2 (from 2009 to January 2017), Enck said Trump's proposed massive budget cuts to EPA—projected to be anywhere from 31 to 43 percent cuts—are alarming for an agency charged with holding polluters accountable.

"We knew it was going to be bad, but not this bad," said Enck, who was the longest serving Region 2 administrator in history. "There are million of Americans appalled by Trump's environmental agenda."

And for good reason: Trump's proposed EPA budget eliminates funding used to protect America's most iconic bodies of water, like the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. It would slash support for Superfund sites and hinder EPA's ability to monitor air quality and check for signs of deadly and toxic pollution like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Enck has hope, though. "There are some in EPA who can try to minimize damage."

Her faith in EPA career staff comes from her seven years working so closely with them. She said many have been at the agency for decades and know their jobs well. "In my farewell speech I encouraged the staff to be the first line of defense in reminding any new staff at EPA who do not want to enforce the law or turn away from important pollution problems," she said. "We really need them to stand up to this assault on environmental protections."

She also believes the EPA's role is to help the U.S. be an international leader on climate change action. "I think that's in jeopardy, though, unfortunately."

Trump's budget will hurt Americans in a number of ways. It would strip funding that enables the U.S. to meet its commitment to the Green Climate Fund, hampering our ability to continue to lead the world in climate action. It also slashes innovative clean energy research efforts (ARPA-E), eliminates funding for after-school and summer programs for at risk and underserved youth run by park and recreation agencies (21st Century Community Learning Centers program) and even puts the EPA programs that respond to crisis like Flint at risk.

But Enck is not discouraged. Her spirit is strong for taking action and encouraging so many others to take action as well.

"I want to be a public voice for the importance of the agency," she said. "I want to urge Americans to flex their civic muscle and communicate with their members of Congress about these draconian cuts to the EPA budget."

Enck sees three major points in a movement to protect the EPA and its mission:

1. Educating the public.

2. Getting members of Congress to act.

3. Litigation.

"We need all three of those to hold back the worst," Enck said. She encourages the public to have their members of Congress on speed dial and to call them regularly, no matter how bad the outlook seems for environmental protection.

"I'm the opposite of someone who says, 'pace yourself,'" she laughed. Then she got serious. "We can never lose our sense of outrage. That's what will prompt us to take action. We need to organize opposition early and aggressively and in a sophisticated way."

You can help defend the EPA against Trump's drastic budget cuts—take action.

Fracking
Photo credit: Wikimedia

By Jen Miller

The U.S. Geological Survey reported an earthquake Sunday in Monroe County with the epicenter located at 39.6663º N, 81.244º W. The 3.0 magnitude earthquake was located in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest. Approximately 40,000 acres of the forest are slated for fracking by the Bureau of Land Management.

Earthquakes in the area are fairly unusual, especially at such a magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey has linked induced seismicity to wastewater injection facilities and active oil and gas fracking wells. There are four wastewater injection sites located within 20 miles of the epicenter. In 2016, these injection wells accepted 8.3 million barrels of wastewater polluted with a dangerous mix of salt water, hazardous chemicals and radioactive compounds and approximately 90 percent of this waste is trucked in from out of state. Additionally, seven utica shale fracking sites are within five miles of the epicenter.

The science is clear, cradle-to-grave fracking is risky and dangerous to our air, water and communities. Yet, fracking activity continues near two of our state's most precious resources—the Wayne National Forest and the Ohio River and, if the Bureau of Land Management has its way, will expand.

We call upon the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to cease and withdraw all plans for fracking in Ohio's only national forest.

We ask the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Gov. Kasich to work with federal authorities to fully investigate its causes and to protect the public from any serious risks that fracking in the area could cause.

Furthermore, we ask the governor to keep our clean energy progress going, because energy efficiency renewable energy are clean, safe and cheap.

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Politics
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Photo credit: Shawn Thew / EPA

By A. Tianna Scozzaro

The Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began this week, but the jury is still out on whether the judge will be confirmed.

Since being nominated, legislators and voters have raised concerns about what Gorsuch's potential confirmation could mean for women's rights, especially since his record shows a history of voting against women's interests.

In Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, Gorsuch ruled to give corporations the right to deny their employees contraception coverage despite the Affordable Care Act mandate. This was based on the false statement that birth control medicine and devices have the effect of "destroying a fertilized human egg." The disregard for basic science and fact should be alarming to every single American.

Low-income communities and communities of color and the women who live within them face a greater risk of getting sick, losing their livelihoods, living in poverty and being displaced when weather disasters strike. Women's rights and environmental justice go hand in hand; to win the fight against environmental injustice we need to make sure all are able to lead healthy lives. Universal access to voluntary family planning and health services for women is critical to that goal.

Reproductive rights are just that: rights. Comprehensive reproductive health services are a vital way to help women plan their future and move toward full equality.

Hobby Lobby isn't the only case where Gorsuch has sought to limit women's right to reproductive health services. In a similar case filed to contest the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, Gorsuch dissented from a judicial panel's decision not to rehear a case for the Little Sisters of the Poor, after their attempt to secure their own exemption from the health care law's contraception requirement.

In order to protect our environment, we must protect our democracy. That means having three functioning branches of government where all the people's interests are represented. Gorsuch, the son of perhaps the most anti-environment head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its history (though Scott Pruitt is certainly seeking to outdo Ann Gorsuch), has a record of limiting access of everyday Americans to the courts. Serving as a check on the Executive Branch—a check that's more important now than ever given President Donald Trump's misguided and extreme executive actions—the Supreme Court must be filled by people who judge impartially, guided not by corporate interests but by our Constitution.

Without access to the courts, families can't fight back against coal plants polluting the air and causing asthma attacks in their children. Without access to the courts, families relying on bottled water after their water supply has been polluted can't fight to protect their right to clean water. Without access to the courts, women can't fight for their right to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Limiting citizens access to the court limits our ability to protect vital public and environmental health safeguards. Gorsuch's dangerous judicial philosophy threatens our access to the courts in jeopardy.

The stakes are as high as they can be, and we are all taking note. Judge Gorsuch is not qualified to represent every American on the Supreme Court.

A. Tianna Scozzaro is the director of the Sierra Club's Gender Equity and Environment Program.

Photo credit: Photo by dmbaker/iStock.

By Elizabeth Wartenkin

Immense herds of up to 30 million bison once thundered across the plains of North America. Like their American brethren, overhunted Canadian plains bison came dangerously close to extinction in the late 1800s. In an effort to reverse the damage, Parks Canada on Feb. 1 successfully restored 16 healthy bison—transporting them the 280 miles from Elk Island National Park, 30 miles east of Edmonton, Alberta, to their original, rightful home on the eastern slopes of Banff National Park.

This is the first step in a five-year pilot project to reintroduce the animals to the Banff wilderness. For 16 months, this initial little herd—consisting of six two- to three-year-old bulls and 10 two- to three-year-old pregnant heifers—will be kept in an enclosed pasture in Banff's Panther Valley. Project Manager Karsten Heuer and his team at Parks Canada expect that, after having twice calved, they will release the herd into a larger, 1,200 square kilometer (463 square mile) zone in summer 2018. There, they will be free to interact with other native species and to forage for food. The idea, said Heuer, is "to anchor these initial animals to this new landscape, so they adopt it as their new home and range."

In 2022, Parks Canada will reevaluate the project and, if long-term bison restoration to the area is deemed feasible, develop a management plan from there. "If we didn't think there was a good chance of this working I don't think we ever would have started," Heuer said, acknowledging that if necessary for population control, Parks Canada may ultimately have to consider pulling animals out and allowing for hunting. In that case, he said priority would be given to local First Nations groups (as Canada's indigenous peoples are known), and is careful to add, "But that's not the emphasis—our intent isn't to create a population for hunting opportunities."

Once a key source of food, clothing, shelter, and religious symbolism, bison carry great spiritual and cultural meaning for the First Nations. With the 19th-century massacre of the bison herds came the end of an entire way of life. In fact, so significant is the bison to the North American and indigenous story that in recording the continent's past, historians tend to differentiate between "bison" and "post-bison" eras.

The emblematic plains animals were once a "keystone species" in Banff, said Heuer. Bringing them back will help restore the ecological integrity of the Canadian great plains, referred to locally as "the prairies." Depending on how well the Banff bison herd survive and reproduce, wolves, which once relied on bison herds as a primary food source, will be able to do so once again. Other species would benefit, too—hulking, woolly bison graze heavily on native grasses and disturb the soil with their hooves, triggering an ecological process that helps many plant and animal species flourish. Prairie dogs, for instance, prefer to make their homes in or near bison-grazed areas, as the short grass affords a lookout for hungry predators.

Indigenous groups—many of which have played a role in bison reintroduction projects on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border—express uniform enthusiasm for the Banff initiative. Independent of government efforts, many have formed pro-reintroduction alliances. In 2014, eight nations (or tribes) signed a Buffalo Treaty in Montana, which commits signatories to bison restoration. Other nations have since signed on. In September 2016, the American Bison Society held their fifth annual week-long conference in Banff, marking their first summit in Canada. Upon February's announcement of bison reintroduction in Banff, Leroy Little Bear, a Blood Tribe member integral to the Buffalo Treaty, told the Calgary Herald, "The restoration of wild bison to Banff National Park is a great leap forward for buffalo peoples."

Banff is not the first place in Canada where plains bison have been reintroduced, but as Heuer notes, there are unusual components to this plan. "We've reintroduced them into an area [Banff] that has all their native predators, which is really rare," he said. "Other than Yellowstone and Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan and a herd up in northeastern B.C. [British Columbia] called the Pink Mountain Herd, there are no other plains bison populations in North America that actually are interacting with the full suite of native predators."

Heuer reports that working on the reintroduction project with various representatives from First Nations was "invigorating" for all parties. "I think part of the reason why our translocation went as well as it did… is because with the First Nations partners, there was a lot of spiritual preparation. We had numerous blessing ceremonies." On Jan. 29, the Samson Cree Nation hosted a send-off ceremony at Elk Island National Park, and several other First Nations celebrated the bison's return to Banff, too.

Nonprofit conservationists are also excited about the Banff reintroduction. "One of the things national parks are supposed to do is to conserve our ecological heritage," said wildlife ecologist Dr. Jodi Hilty, president of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a joint Canada-U.S. nonprofit organization that connects and protects wildlife habitats. "And that includes ensuring that all the species that should be there are persisting, now and into the future. In the case of bison, they're 'ecosystem engineers,' if you will. They actively impact the landscape."

Not everyone, however, is so effusive. Local ranchers initially worried that the bison could escape from their current enclosure, damage property, or spread disease to livestock. Members of the Alberta Fish and Game Association (AFGA) were also strongly opposed, arguing in 2015 that "the experiment is ill-founded, has no environmental integrity and has little value to Canadians." However, Parks Canada has done due diligence in terms of disease testing and quarantining, and representatives have met with both AFGA and the Alberta Beef Producers to alleviate their concerns, even committing to slaughtering the herd if necessary. However, Heuer and his team hope it won't come to that. "It's taken a lot of time," he said, "and we finally have hooves on the ground." For now, Parks Canada observes and monitors the bison. After a period of managing the animals in such heavy-handed fashion, Heuer said the hope is that the herd will ultimately revert to bison's "tremendous wild instincts."

As the old cliché goes, it is only once we've lost something that we realize how valuable it was. The Banff project, along with other wildlife reintroductions—such as the recent scimitar-horned oryx in Chad or the Iberian lynx in Spain—offer multi-pronged opportunities: a chance to make amends for past mistakes, and an occasion to make a solid commitment to the future of the planet.

"It's fairly high-cost to try to bring something back what you've already lost," noted Heuer, adding that such endeavors are also labor-intensive. "By far, the more efficient and better approach... is to maintain the land's ecological integrity so that you don't have to restore it. I would really caution people from going down the road of thinking, 'You know, it's no big deal if we lose things because we have the power and the technological prowess to bring them back.'"

Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.

Sponsored
Photo credit: DearTomorrow

By Wendy Becktold

What is the Dear Tomorrow Project?

It's a website that invites you to compose a message to the kid or kids, in your life about climate change—it can be a letter, photo or video—which we then post online.

Trisha Shrum of Boulder, Colorado cofounded the Dear Tomorrow project.Matt Nager

How did you get the idea?

I study behavioral and environmental economics. I was invited to speak at a conference in Iceland, where Christiana Figueres, who was the head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, also gave a talk. She spoke about a dream she'd had in which the children of the future asked her, "You knew about climate change. What did you do about it?" On the plane home, I wrote a letter to my 10-month-old daughter. I wanted her to know how I felt about climate change at that moment—how I struggled to continue the day-to-day work but that I was committed to it. Shortly thereafter, I met Jill Kubit, who's also a mother and who felt the power of the idea. We launched the website in December 2015.

Why is this effective?

Climate change can make you feel small and powerless, but when you're talking to your child, you realize that you are the most powerful person in the world for her and that it's your job to protect her. Any excuse you have for not getting involved falls flat. We ask each person to share their letter with their own personal network, because that's the way we reach people outside of the environmental movement. Your aunt might not be reading SIERRA, but she might be interested in reading a powerful perspective from someone she knows.

Climate change has become highly politicized. Is The Dear Tomorrow Project a way around that?

Conservatives who care about the environment have been forced into an unfair identity crisis. It's as if they can't care about the environment and also have conservative political beliefs. One of our goals is to give people a way to say to their friends and family, "I, as a conservative, think that we should be good stewards. This matters." Studies have shown that people don't talk about climate change, even if it's important to them. This is a way to open up a conversation. You don't need to be an expert; you don't need to have a pristine carbon footprint. We just want people to talk about it from a place of love and talk about the legacy that they want to leave.

Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.

Photo credit: Lorie Shaull / Flickr

By Liz Perera and Adam Beitman

Scott Pruitt shocked the world last week when he declared that carbon pollution was not the primary driver of the climate crisis. But what was even more shocking was the fact that he clearly and repeatedly misled Congress about his intentions on this critical issue during his confirmation process to serve as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pruitt's misleading testimony before the Senate is actually part of a much larger pattern of him misleading Congress.

Pruitt is a baseball fan so let's put it this way: three strikes and you're out. He has proven that he is unfit to do the job he is legally required to do—and unwilling to do it even if he could—meaning he ought to resign. Failing that, the Senate should take action to remove him from his position because, among the most obvious and readily identifiable instances, Pruitt misled Congress at least three times:

  • Strike One: Conducting official state business over a private email account.
  • Strike Two: His position on climate change and EPA's ability to regulate CO2.
  • Strike Three: His history of actively promoting mercury pollution as Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Pruitt Misled Congress About His Emails:

In written testimony to Congress in response to a question from Sen. Cory Booker, Pruitt declared that "I use only my official OAG [Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General] email address and government issued phone to conduct official business."

The Associated Press (AP) revealed that claim to be false when select Pruitt correspondence was ordered released to the public by a court after public interest groups had requested it.

According to AP, multiple instances of such private electronic communication for purposes of conducting public business have been uncovered, "including a 2013 exchange with a petroleum industry lobbyist who emailed Pruitt and a lawyer on the attorney general's staff."

Strike One: Pruitt misled Congress about his use a private email account to conduct official state business.

Pruitt Misled Congress About Climate Change and Regulating Carbon Pollution:

Last week, Pruitt told CNBC that he does not believe carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to the climate crisis.

But that's a very different tune from what he sang to Congress. In written testimony, Pruitt certified that "I also believe the administrator has an important role when it comes to the regulation of carbon dioxide, which I will fulfill consistent with Massachusetts v. EPA and the agency's Endangerment Finding on Greenhouse Gases respective of the applicable statutory framework established by Congress."

Separately, in an exchange with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Pruitt said "Senator, I believe that the [EPA] administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating CO2."

By offering and affirming that the EPA administrator has an important role in regulating carbon dioxide in light of the EPA's Endangerment Finding (established in the Massachusetts vs. EPA Supreme Court case), Pruitt clearly acknowledged the role carbon pollution plays in driving climate change.

During separate questioning Pruitt also explicitly acknowledged the legitimacy of the endangerment finding, saying: "the endangerment finding is there and needs to be enforced and respected." When pressed by Sen. Markey on whether he would review or alter the finding if confirmed, Pruitt affirmed "There is nothing that I know that would cause a review at this point."

Pruitt clearly made the case to the Senate at the time that he had no reason to reverse the finding that carbon pollution poses a danger by causing climate change, whereas now he says publicly that it does not pose a danger, actively denying the role of carbon pollution as a dangerous climate pollutant.

Strike Two: Pruitt misled Congress about his views on climate change and, more importantly, how carbon pollution should be regulated by the EPA as an air pollutant in light of Supreme Court rulings and the agency's "Endangerment Finding."

Pruitt Misled Congress On His Greenwashing of Toxic Mercury:

In his testimony to Congress, Pruitt denied he had ever argued that the EPA should not regulate mercury pollution in his position suing the agency as Attorney General of Oklahoma. Specifically, Pruitt said "there was no argument that we made from the State perspective that mercury is not a hazardous air pollutant under Section 112."

But the truth is that in legal filings, Pruitt did make the argument that the EPA was breaking the law by regulating mercury and other toxic air emissions. Most damningly, Pruitt signed a legal brief contending that that the benefits of protections against mercury pollution are "small, uncertain and in most instances unquantifiable."

Strike Three: Pruitt attempted the absurd task of arguing that Mercury is not-toxic and then tried to cover it up.


Scott Pruitt: Three Strikes—You're Out!

(Want even more examples of Pruitt misleading Congress? Check out the Environmental Working Group's post from late January).

Conclusion: Pruitt has proven that he is unfit to do the job of protecting the American people from toxic pollution and he misled Congress repeatedly during his confirmation process. For these reasons, he ought to resign. If he refuses, the Senate should take action on its own and remove him from his position.

Liz Perera is the Sierra Club's climate policy director. Adam Beitman is the Sierra Club's deputy national press secretary, covering federal policy, politics and international issues.

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