President Donald Trump nominated the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, as the new Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was confirmed by the Senate 52 to 46.
But Scott Pruitt is bad for our water.
Americans overwhelmingly support clean water. Scott Pruitt supports polluters. In November, Americans did not vote to rollback protections for clean water to make it easier for polluters to poison or destroy vital parts of our natural water infrastructure, like streams and wetlands. Yet that is exactly what they will get with a Scott Pruitt-led EPA.
If Donald Trump is serious about directing the EPA to ensure “clean, safe drinking water for all Americans,” then Scott Pruitt is the wrong choice for EPA administrator. He has spent his career suing EPA and several of those suits have attacked critical safeguards for water and the health of people who drink it.
Scott Pruitt put vast water resources, including the drinking water for more than 117 million Americans, at risk when he sued EPA to throw out the Clean Water Rule which protects sources of drinking water from pollution and destruction.
Nearly 45 years after the Clean Water Act was passed, many of our nation’s rivers, streams, lakes and bays are still not safe for swimming or fishing. We need to be doing more, not less, to rein in polluters like industrial agriculture, oil and gas operations, and mining. These industries should not get a free pass to cause real, direct harm to public health and the environment, while raking in huge profits. Unfortunately Scott Pruitt has been handing out free passes to the big polluters for years.
Scott Pruitt joined the Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, and other industrial agricultural interests to sue EPA to stop the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. EPA’s oversight is essential to the health of the Bay and everyone who lives, works and plays in the region. Oklahoma is nowhere near the Chesapeake.
Pruitt has allowed the runoff from upstream chicken farms in Arkansas to pollute the Illinois River downstream in Oklahoma. Pruitt has let a lawsuit to force Arkansas to abide by Oklahoma’s standards and clean up the pollution to linger, with no action, since he took office as AG. His inaction has put the profits of out-of-state business over the health of his own state.
A new study by EPA confirms that every step of the fracking process – from water acquisition, to chemical use to disposal of contaminated waste – can impact drinking water. Pruitt’s well-documented and cozy relationship with the oil and gas industry signals that an EPA under his leadership will disregard the science and allow unchecked fracking to continue to put drinking water sources at risk.
Climate change is water change. As a climate science denier, Scott Pruitt is also a water science denier. If Pruitt has his way and rolls back EPA’s climate progress, he will be directly threatening drinking water supplies, the health of our waterways and every person, business and community that relies on clean water.
As the Oklahoma AG, Scott Pruitt stood idly by while his friends in the oil industry unleashed hundreds of earthquakes from fracking and wastewater disposal. As EPA Administrator it would be his job to step in and tell Big Oil to stop injecting waste if it threatens drinking water. Can we count on him to shut down his oil friends when they pollute drinking water? His record in Oklahoma says no.