Can a man who fought against the EPA for most of his career be the best option to lead it?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the nation’s watchdog on issues that affect our air, water, climate and human health. The Administrator of the EPA is in charge of enforcing and implementing key environmental protection laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and a number of laws regulating the use and clean-up of toxic substances. The Administrator is expected to act in a nonpartisan fashion, using the best available science, to ensure that the federal government, states, cities and industries keep pollution out of our air, soil and water.
Why Should You Care?
Decisions made by the EPA have a direct effect on a number of issues that Defenders of Wildlife – and the majority of the American people – care about immensely. The EPA oversees setting and enforcing standards to reduce the release of greenhouse gases and other types of air pollution, including for fuel economy, appliance efficiency, and power plants and factories. As climate change is one of the leading threats to both wildlife and to human communities, the EPA’s role in reducing this pollution remains critical. The EPA protects our rivers, streams, aquifers and drinking water by monitoring and regulating pollutants like lead, sewage, chemicals and radiation. The EPA is also in charge of determining the safety of and proper use pesticides and rodent poisons, which can be deadly to important pollinators and predator species.
Defenders of Wildlife continues to work tirelessly to act on climate change, habitat loss and other threats to wildlife species. We have a track record of pushing the EPA to make decisions that will foster clean energy and better water quality, for humans as well as wildlife and their habitat.
Nominee: Scott Pruitt (Attorney General, Oklahoma)
Scott Pruitt was elected as Oklahoma’s Attorney General in 2010 after eight years within the Oklahoma State Senate. On his LinkedIn page, Attorney General Pruitt summarizes himself as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda” and he is a known denier of the human role in climate change.
During his tenure as Attorney general, Mr. Pruitt sued the EPA 13 different times, including efforts to block the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. Several of these lawsuits are in fact still ongoing and Mr. Pruitt has yet to recuse himself from the court decisions that will impact the agency he is nominated to direct. When the nomination of Mr. Pruitt for EPA Administrator was announced, CEO and President of Defenders of Wildlife Jamie Rappaport-Clark stated “Scott Pruitt is the absolute wrong choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Climate change is an undeniable and growing threat to our nation. We need a leader for EPA who fully appreciates the gravity of the menace that climate change poses for our nation’s public health, our wildlife and our environment, and is prepared to use the full force of our nation’s strong environmental laws to curb that threat. Mr. Pruitt is plainly not that person.”
Defenders is not giving up on wildlife or the environmental laws that need to be protected in order to help save them and we will hold the agency and the administrator accountable to do this work.