In the last week, Scott Pruitt, the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency, as been accused of several corrupt practices, including taking favors from lobbyists. These reports are reason enough for Congress to question his role as an appointed official in a vital role, but they are accusations that build on months of unacceptable actions undertaken as head of an agency that exists solely to protect our health and environment. His actions are not only in direct contradiction with the EPA’s stated mission, they demonstrate incredibly ineffective and inefficient leadership and a lack of concern over wasting government time and taxpayer dollars. We must urge the legislators to stand up for science-based policy, and call for Pruitt to be held accountable.
Pruitt has planned to shutter the National Center for Environmental Research, which funds research the effects of chemical exposure on children and adults. He had long been known to have alarmingly close ties to industries known for the damage they can cause to the environment. Pruitt threw EPA advisory groups into chaos by announcing that scientists who receive EPA grants cannot serve on EPA advisory committees, blocking the ability of best-available science to inform policy and limits the capacity of advisors to function as independent scientific review for the EPA. He replaced scientific experts with industry representatives and science deniers with deep industry ties, politicizing a scientific review board that holds no voting or veto power.
Pruitt has attacked the well-established scientific consensus on climate change since assuming leadership, hindering the fulfillment of the EPA’s mission. Since he took the reins, the EPA has deleted from its website multiple references to the science of climate change science The EPA has canceled talks by EPA scientists related to climate change and Pruitt has indicated that he wants to encourage “debate” about this and other well-understood scientific issues. Under his leadership, the Clean Power Plan - which research has shown would benefit the economy, the environment, and most importantly, public health - has been repealed. Critics have pointed to pervasive reports of low staff morale among EPA employees.
The latest accusations of corruption are added to previous mismanagement of agency resources, including spending $25,000 taxpayer dollars on a soundproof booth for his office. He’s also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on charter and military flights.
As the EPA has rolled back a staggering number of research-based regulations, Pruitt is being called before Congress to discuss his first year as head of the EPA, and his plans for the future.
Tell your legislators to #PressPruitt to step down.
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