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EWG: Senate Panel Breaks Rules, Approves ‘Worst EPA Nominee in History’

Contact: 
(202) 667-6982
alex@ewg.org
For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, February 2, 2017

WASHINGTON – Scott Pruitt, approved today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, would take office as the worst EPA administrator in history, EWG President and Co-Founder Ken Cook said.

In an extraordinary move, Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee suspended the rules and forced through the committee the nomination of Mr. Pruitt without holding a vote from the full committee. The nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Here is a statement from Cook:

During the campaign, President Trump pledged to dismantle the EPA. In Scott Pruitt, he found just the man to carry out his vision.

By any measure, the president could hardly have found – and the committee could not have approved – a worse nominee to be in charge of public health and environmental protection. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt’s crusade of more than a dozen lawsuits filed against the EPA to stop efforts aimed at reducing air and water pollution to protect Americans is unmatched. Time and time again, Pruitt said “no” when policies were proposed or rules implemented that would save lives, including initiatives specifically intended to protect children.

Now, Pruitt is poised to take control of the very agency he’s repeatedly attacked. If approved by the full Senate, he will start on day one as the worst EPA administrator in history. Mark my words: His record and his evasive testimony to the committee indicate he will move quickly to decimate the agency’s ability to protect the health of Americans and our irreplaceable natural resources.

Those on the committee who voted for Pruitt have tarnished the legacy of an agency – established by a GOP administration – that for almost 50 years has worked to keep our water pure, our air clean and our families safe. We commend the senators who stood against this disgraceful nominee and pledge to fight any attempt by Pruitt and the Trump administration to return to the days when smog choked our cities, our rivers caught on fire and polluters were free to use our land as toxic waste dumps.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore