Letter to the editor
Pruitt helps continue anti-environmental Trump administration
On October 11, the PBS program Frontline aired “War on the EPA,” an
alarming documentary focusing on Trump appointee Scott Pruitt’s ties to the
big oil and coal industries and how he has acted to further their interests
as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The day before PBS ran this program, Pruitt had announced the repeal of
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which nudged states toward curbing
greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants over the next two
In his brief tenure as EPA head, Pruitt has repealed or blocked many
other common sense regulatory measures protecting public health, such as
banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide shown to damage the brains of fetuses and
infants. Chlorpyrifos is manufactured by Dow, and Pruitt vetoed the ban
after a private meeting with Dow’s CEO.
In a Pulitzer Prize winning series, New York Times investigative
reporter Eric Lipton has publicly exposed Pruitt’s beholdenness to
polluters, unearthing emails from Devon Energy in Pruitt’s home state of
Oklahoma with wording Pruitt used verbatim in his protests against EPA
A climate change denier, Pruitt has obstructed attempts to move our
country away from dependence on dirty, polluting energy sources toward
renewables. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA fourteen
times to kill regulations that keep America’s environment and citizens safe.
Pruitt was also instrumental in organizing Republican attorneys general
in other states to fight the change to clean, renewable energy. Eric
Lipton, attending one of their gatherings, reported seeing fossil fuel
lobbyists openly writing checks to the Attorneys General.
Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, another climate change denier,
voted to approve the deeply corrupt Pruitt, again demonstrating his bad
judgment and enabling what journalist Jane Mayer calls, “the triumph of the
anti-environmental movement,” in the Trump administration.
Thomas R. Smith, a former UWRF student and poet with seven published books