EPA Chief to be Fêted at Chemical Industry Soirée
WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will deliver remarks at the annual board meeting of the American Chemistry Council, the main chemical industry trade and lobby group, according to a press report by The Washington Post.
“Finally Scott Pruitt can get his marching orders directly in person from chemical industry lobbyists who, up until now, he’s only met over the phone in the soundproof booth he installed in his EPA office,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “He’ll get a warm reception. After all, until Scott Pruitt came along, chemical companies held the worst reputation for environmental integrity in America.”
Since taking control at EPA, Pruitt has installed chemical industry executives in top positions in the agency, including former American Chemistry Council official Nancy Beck. Beck’s long history of defending toxic chemicals was recently documented in a report by The New York Times.
Pruitt also installed Michael Dourson, President Trump’s pick to run EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, as a senior advisor even before the Senate has voted to confirm Dourson in that role.
Dourson has repeatedly argued that the safe exposure levels to highly toxic chemicals are hundreds or thousands of times higher than what independent scientists and the EPA consider safe. As head of the office of chemical safety, he would make crucial decisions on many chemicals he has defended for the industry.
In one of his first major decisions as EPA administrator, Pruitt sided with Dow Chemical over scientists in a decision to abort the agency's proposal to ban chlorpyrifos – an insecticide that at small doses can harm children's brains and nervous systems – from use on food crops.
“The public can’t trust America’s chemical industry to make safe products, tell the truth, or protect our health. Scott Pruitt clearly can’t be trusted to do any of those things, either,” said Cook. “No one in the environmental community will forgive Pruitt for what he’s doing. And we will never forget the companies that used his disgraceful tenure to turn back the clock on chemical safety and environmental regulation. Never.”