Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 17, 2017

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org 

Anti-environment Zealot Confirmed to Run Environmental Protection Agency

Republican Senators Blindly Approve Pruitt in Deeply Partisan Vote

WASHINGTON— In a highly partisan vote, the U.S. Senate today confirmed President Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Only a single Republican broke party ranks to oppose Pruitt, a climate change denier who has repeatedly sued the EPA to block lifesaving pollution-prevention measures.

“Make no mistake, Scott Pruitt is going to put people’s lives at risk to help special interests pollute our air and water. This is new and this is dangerous,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “This vote should have been 100-0 against, but instead Republican senators showed just how out of touch they’ve become on environmental issues. We’ll be drinking dirtier water and breathing dirtier air because of this disturbing decision, and our wildlife and climate will pay a terrible price.”

Pruitt sued the agency he now leads 14 times over federal regulations meant to protect Americans from contaminated water, climate pollution and other threats. He even joined a lawsuit against the EPA's lifesaving mercury standards, which experts estimate will prevent about 11,000 premature births every year by reducing toxic mercury pollution.

Asked during his confirmation hearing whether there is any safe level of lead in the water we drink, Pruitt replied, “Senator, that is something I have not reviewed nor know about.”

Over his career Pruitt has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from some of the nation's dirtiest industries, from oil companies to poultry corporations. Ignoring the scientific consensus on climate change, he falsely claimed that many scientists continue to disagree on the issue.

“Pruitt will be the worst, most dangerous administrator in EPA history,” Suckling said. “We will fight him in the courts and in the streets every time he tries to take us backward. Since the Senate failed to do its job, we will watch Pruitt like a hawk and relentlessly oppose every dangerous action he takes to harm our environment.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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