Scott Pruitt Wrong For New Jersey’s Environment: Senate Approves Pruitt 52-46, Ignoring Calls for Release of Fossil Fuel Industry E-Mails

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Environment New Jersey

Trenton– Today the Senate voted to approve President Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Doug O’Malley, Environment New Jersey’s Director issued the following statement in response:

“This country needs an Environmental Protection Agency Administrator whose top priority is protecting our air and water and our families’ health. We need somebody willing to enforce and defend our bedrock environmental laws and a leader guided by science when creating and implementing policy.

Scott Pruitt is a regulatory arsonist who is committed to torching EPA’s environmental protections. His nomination generated unprecedented bipartisan opposition, including the unheard of opposition from hundreds of EPA employees. He is opposed to using scientific standards to create environmental protections, and he will be a grave danger to the protections on the books that preserve our environment and expand public health.

“It’s clear that Scott Pruitt won’t protect New Jersey’s air, water or families and we are extremely disappointed that he will now be the next EPA administrator.  As attorney general he put dirty energy interests and other polluters ahead of protecting public health.  Instead of taking steps to reduce pollution, he sued to stop the agency he will now lead from enforcing critical clean air and water protections.

“In fact, as attorney general, Scott Pruitt joined with polluters to file 14 lawsuits against the very agency he will now run. These suits aimed to dismantle critical public health safeguards ranging from the Clean Water Rule that protects drinking water sources for 117 million Americans to the Mercury and Air Toxic Rule (which was modeled on New Jersey’s mercury rule which reduced mercury pollution from power plants by more than 90%) that protects our kids and other vulnerable citizens from highly damaging pollution.

“In addition, as Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt disbanded the state’s environmental protection unit. He was the leading opponent of the Clean Power Plan which set the first ever national limits on carbon pollution and undercut actions to clean up major poultry pollution problems in his state’s river system.

“When asked during his hearing, Mr. Pruitt could not name one current EPA protection that he supported.

“New Jerseyans and all Americans deserve an EPA Administrator who will fight to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we love. Scott Pruitt fails on all these accounts.  We thank Sen. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez for standing up for our families’ health, clean water and clean air and for their forceful opposition to the nomination. We will need their vigilance in the weeks and months to come to stand up to the expected rollback agenda during Pruitt’s term.