On Wednesday John O'Grady, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, the union that represents more than half of EPA employees, announced that the council would join the nation-wide campaign to #BootPruitt, Bloomberg reported.
In an interview reported by Bloomberg, O'Grady explained the council's decision to call for Pruitt's ouster. "Every step of the way it seems like he is doing what he can to keep the EPA from doing its job," O'Grady said. "He's creating a real mess and I'm not sure he cares."
This isn't the first time that EPA employees have expressed frustration with Pruitt's priorities and policies. O'Grady is also the spokesperson for Save the U.S. EPA, a joint campaign formed by his union and the American Federation of Government Employees to stop Pruitt and the Trump administration from passing a budget that would decimate jobs and programs.
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In an interview about that campaign with The Revelator, O'Grady explained why Pruitt's effort to rollback environmental regulations really is a labor issue for the agency's staff.
"Imagine if you're a great football player and you were brought on by the team to win Super Bowls, and then you're told, no, you have to play soccer. It's kind of similar. These people come on board EPA because they're dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. And then they're basically not allowed to do their jobs, and that's creating a lot of frustration."
But by signing on to the Boot Pruitt campaign, the union is coming out against Pruitt specifically and not just his policies.
The Boot Pruitt campaign was launched on March 28 by the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Hip Hop Caucus, Green for All, Green Latinos, Center for American Progress Action and Defend Our Future.
"[H]e's treating the health and safety of our nation and federal tax dollars just as carelessly as he treated the health and safety and taxpayers of Oklahoma. It's time for Pruitt to resign or be thrown out of office," director of the Oklahoma Sierra Club chapter Johnson Bridgewater said in a Sierra Club press release explaining the campaign.
Environmental activists haven't been the only ones calling for Pruitt to resign since news broke that Pruitt had rented a Washington, DC condo for $50 a night from an energy lobbyist and his wife.. Three Republican members of Congress have called for his resignation as of April 5, The Daily Beast reported.
There was speculation last week that President Trump might give Pruitt the boot himself after press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was "not" OK with the condo arrangement.
But Trump doubled-down on his support for Pruitt via Twitter on Saturday, saying Pruitt was "doing a great job!"
This Coal Lobbyist Could Head the EPA, and He May Be Worse Than Pruitt https://t.co/EWD97OP0vP @ClimateReality… https://t.co/E9LuVi6k1B— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) 1523462909.0