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Letter to the editor

Pruitt helps continue trend of anti-environmental Trump administration

October 20, 2017

Dear Editor,

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 decades.

In his brief tenure as EPA head, Pruitt has repealed or blocked many other common sense regulatory measures protecting public health, such as banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide shown to damage the brains of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 rulings.

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, renew- able 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 jour- nalist Jane Mayer calls, “the triumph of the anti-environmental movement,” in the Trump administration.

Thomas R. Smith
River Falls