One Million Petitions Demand Senate Reject EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt

February 8, 2017

Jaime Horn, [email protected]

One Million Petitions Demand Senate Reject EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of leading progressive and environmental organizations announced today they have delivered one million signed petitions to the U.S. Senate in opposition of the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The petition drive began in December, soon after Pruitt was nominated and when concerns about his conflicts of interest with the fossil fuel industry and hostility to lifesaving health and climate safeguards began to grow. In the petitions, Americans urged their senators to reject Pruitt.

The groups, fifteen in total, include (with hyperlinks to their petitions) CREDO, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, National Audubon Society, Clean Water Action, Climate Reality, Defend Our Future, League of United Latin American Citizens, Moms Clean Air Force, NextGen Climate, Public Citizen, 314 Action and Environmental Working Group.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Pruitt’s confirmation next week.

Elected Oklahoma’s attorney general in 2010, Scott Pruitt has sued the EPA 14 times. As uncovered in a 2014 New York Times investigation, he was part of a “secretive alliance” with fossil fuel companies to undermine clean air and water protections. This included his work atop the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, which accepted unlimited and undisclosed corporate contributions, and for which Pruitt solicited major fossil fuel companies.

Groups provided the following quotes on Pruitt and the petitions:

“Installing a climate change denier like Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA represents an existential threat to people and the planet,” said CREDO Political Director Murshed Zaheed. “Senators who support Pruitt’s confirmation will bear responsibility when his polluter-friendly policies poison our air and kill their constituents.”

“The response across the country is loud and clear: Americans are saying NO to Scott Pruitt, whose record of dangerously putting polluters before people makes him totally unfit to run the Environmental Protection Agency," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club's Executive Director. “Nothing less than our children's lives are at stake. We urge the U.S. Senate to listen to these one million voices and all of the Americans who want strong air and water protections by rejecting Scott Pruitt.”

“President Trump has no mandate to roll back bedrock environmental protections that are critical safeguard for our families’ health,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “That’s why LCV members have spoken out against Scott Pruitt’s nomination for EPA administrator. ‘Pay-to-play’ Pruitt’s cozy relationship with Big Polluters, and outside the mainstream, extremist positions on climate change and clean air and water are antithetical to the vitally important mission of the EPA. We call on the Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination.”

“People across our country have a right to clean air and water, and they deserve an EPA Administrator who can be counted on to fight for the health and safety of all communities,” said Earthjustice Vice President of Policy and Legislation Martin Hayden. “One million people recognize that Pruitt is unfit and unqualified to protect this fundamental right. I urge all senators to oppose him on the floor.”