Quantcast
Trump Watch

5 Things You Need to Know About Trump's EPA Pick Scott Pruitt

The core, fundamental responsibility of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to ensure clean air and clean water for all Americans in order to protect our health and keep us safe. So, the agency deserves a leader who will pursue that mission tirelessly and passionately. But President-elect Donald Trump has instead nominated Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General, who has made a career out of fighting EPA safeguards and putting the priorities of big polluters before the people of his state. In fact, he even went as far as making the absurd statement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "was never intended to be our nation's foremost environmental regulator."

Pruitt has proven time and time again that he can't be trusted to protect our air and water, and that Trump chose him to follow through on a threat to get rid of the EPA "in almost every form" saying "We are going to have little tidbits." Just how bad is Pruitt's record? Well, it's terrible.

Here are the top five things you need to know about polluting Pruitt:

1. Pruitt is a Tool of Big Oil Who Blatantly Copied an Industry Letter and Sent it to the White House & EPA

  • Pruitt made national headlines in 2014 when the New York Times reported on the secret alliance he formed with major oil and gas companies to attack environmental protections. In 2011, one of Oklahoma's biggest oil and gas companies drafted a letter for Scott Pruitt to send to the EPA, the Interior Department and the White House opposing safeguards against the super climate pollutant methane. Pruitt lightly tweaked a few of the more than 1,000 words in the document, printed it on his official state government stationery, and sent it off to the federal government.
  • Even worse? While Pruitt was Chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, Devon Energy contributed $125,000 to it. Two days later, Pruitt wrote a letter to the EPA protesting its proposal to study the impact of fracking.

2. Pruitt Sued EPA to Stop them from Protecting Kids against Mercury, a Neurotoxin

  • Polluting Pruitt got his nickname by leading the fight against the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics safeguards, as well as protections against smog designed by the agency to clear the air we all breathe. Instead of recognizing that mercury is one of the most dangerous hazardous air pollutants—a neurotoxin which causes brain damage in children—Pruitt signed a legal brief contending that that the benefits of protections against mercury pollution are "small, uncertain and in most instances unquantifiable."

3. Pruitt Led the Fight to Destroy the Life Saving Clean Power Plan

  • The Clean Power Plan is the first national plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants to clean up the air we breath, tackle the climate crisis, and boost the clean energy economy powered by wind and solar. Pruitt's principal credential to lead the Environmental Protection Agency under Donald Trump seems to be his willingness to destroy the life saving Clean Power Plan.

4. Pruitt Created an Organization Designed to Undermine Essential Federal Safeguards Across the Board—His Group Can Take Unlimited Corporate Donations Anonymously

  • Pruitt used his position with the Republican Attorney's General Association to create the so-called "Rule of Law Defense Fund," a special interest funded group designed to systematically coordinate opposition to protections and safeguards across the federal government in an effort to undermine them. Worse, the fund was set up so that it could accept unlimited anonymous donations from companies benefiting from the work of Pruitt and other Republican Attorneys General.

5. Pruitt is a Climate Science Denier Who Will Make America the Scorn of the World

  • Last but far from least, Pruitt is a climate science denier. Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus recognized by NASA, as recently as last May Pruitt falsely said that "that debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind." No person who denies the overwhelming scientific consensus on the human role in driving the climate crisis is fit to serve as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Show Comments ()
Sponsored
TAFE SA TONSLEY / Flickr

Worldwide Clean Energy Investments Hit $333.5 Billion Last Year

Global investment in renewable energy hit $333.5 billion in 2018, the second-highest on record, according to a new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

That's a 3 percent jump from 2016 and 7 percent short of the $360 billion record set in 2015.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy

How Blockchain Could Boost Clean Energy

By Jeremy Deaton

Bitcoin, the much-hyped cryptocurrency, made headlines recently for driving a surge in power use. Around the globe, digital entrepreneurs are 'mining' bitcoins by solving complex math problems, using supercomputers to get the job done. Those supercomputers use a ton of power, which largely comes from coal- and gas-fired power plants spewing gobs of carbon pollution.

But while hackers wreak havoc on the climate, blockchain, the bleeding-edge technology behind bitcoin, could one day help clean up the mess. Climate wonks say blockchain has a role to play in the clean-energy economy, helping homeowners sell electricity, allowing businesses to trade carbon credits, and making it easier for governments to track greenhouse gas emissions.

Keep reading... Show less
Abdallah Issa / Flickr

Post-Fire Landslide Problems Likely to Worsen: What Can Be Done?

By Lee MacDonald

Several weeks after a series of wildfires blackened nearly 500 square miles in Southern California, a large winter storm rolled in from the Pacific. In most places the rainfall was welcomed and did not cause any major flooding from burned or unburned hillslopes.

But in the town of Montecito, a coastal community in Santa Barbara County that lies at the foot of the mountains blackened by the Thomas Fire, a devastating set of sediment-laden flows killed at least 20 people and damaged or destroyed more than 500 homes. In the popular press these flows were termed "mudslides," but with some rocks as large as cars these are more accurately described as hyperconcentrated flows or debris flows, depending on the amount of sediment mixed with the water.

Keep reading... Show less
The most notable observation from the count was DeMartino's sighting of the golden crowned kinglet, but in general volunteers found the same species they normally do. (Photo above is of a golden crowned kinglet, but not the one DeMartino spotted.) Melissa McMasters

Birders Get a First Look at How 2017 California Wildfires Affected Wildlife

By Matt Blois

A neighbor knocked on Rick Burgess's door at about 9:30 p.m. to tell him a fire was coming towards his home in Ventura, California. When he looked outside he saw a column of smoke, and the hills were already starting to turn orange. He loaded up his truck with a collection of native plants he was using to write a countywide plant guide, and barely had enough time to get out.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
A learning garden from Kimbal Musk's nonprofit called Big Green. The Kitchen Community

Elon Musk's Brother Wants to Bring #RealFood to 100,000 Schools Across America

Kimbal Musk's nonprofit organization, The Kitchen Community, is expanding into a new, national nonprofit called Big Green, to build hundreds of outdoor Learning Garden classrooms across America.

Learning Gardens teach children an understanding of food, healthy eating and garden skills through experiential learning and garden-based education that tie into existing school curriculum, such as math, science and literacy.

Keep reading... Show less
Drilling fluids spilled into Ohio wetlands during construction of the Rover Pipeline in April. Sierra Club

Rover Pipeline Spills Another 150,000 Gallons of Drilling Fluid Into Ohio Wetlands

Energy Transfer Partners' troubled $4.2 billion Rover pipeline has spilled nearly 150,000 gallons of drilling fluid into wetlands near the Tuscarawas River in Stark County, Ohio—the same site where it released 2 million gallons in April.

The 713-mile pipeline, which will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan and Canada, is currently under construction by the same Dallas-based company that built the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Large Dams Fail on Climate Change and Indigenous Rights

Brazil has flooded large swaths of the Amazon for hydro dams, despite opposition from Indigenous Peoples, environmentalists and others. The country gets 70 percent of its electricity from hydropower. Brazil's government had plans to expand development, opening half the Amazon basin to hydro. But a surprising announcement could halt that.

Keep reading... Show less
Jim Henderson / Wikimedia Commons

World's Largest Money Manager: Companies Must Respond to Social and Climate Challenges

The world's largest publicly traded companies must take a more active role in solving social issues or face blowback from investors, the CEO of BlackRock said Tuesday.

"To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society," Laurence Fink wrote in his annual letter to CEOs of companies in which BlackRock invests. BlackRock is the world's largest money manager, with more than $6 trillion in assets.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!