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Environmental, Health, Labor, Social Justice, Faith, Farming and Business Groups Join Broad National Push to Defeat Pruitt Nomination

WASHINGTON – More than 500 national, state and local organizations representing a wide range of interests and identities signed a letter to U.S. senators today, calling on them to reject Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA.

Global Justice Ecology Project joins these organizations in opposition of Pruitt’s selection. GJEP’s Ruddy Turnstone points out that Pruitt and others in President Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet could impact the future of many environmental issues, including the political landscape surrounding GE Trees.

“Scott Pruitt… is a known climate change denier. He was named in a New York Times story as being near the center of a ‘secretive alliance’ among energy firms and other corporations,” Turnstone said. “Pruitt also has a history of working to weaken air pollution and other environmental regulations.

As dangerous as Pruitt’s selection is, it’s just one part of system that must be transformed if the planet is to survive this rapidly changing climate, she said.

The letter, organized by the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, states in part: “We urge you to not only vote against Pruitt’s nomination, but actively use all the power of your office and position to block it. We urge you to lobby your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to oppose his nomination, to speak out in the media highlighting his egregious environmental record, and use all procedural means at your disposal to block Scott Pruitt from becoming EPA Administrator.”

“Given Scott Pruitt’s long record of insulating industrial polluters from even the most basic environmental safeguards, anyone that breathes air and drinks water should be aggressively opposed to this man leading the EPA,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director at Food & Water Watch. “We are putting every senator on notice: anyone who supports his nomination will have Mr. Pruitt’s dreadful history of pollution and poisoning on their own hands, and we the people will hold each of them personally responsible moving forward.”

In addition to many high-profile environmental organizations, notable signatories include NAACP, Hispanic Federation, Communications Workers of America, Working Families Party, National Nurses United, Breast Cancer Action, Indigenous Environmental Network, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Our Revolution, PDA, CREDO and Daily Kos.

“Environmental equity is ultimately an issue of social justice, one that deeply affects Latino communities across the United States. That is why a prominent coalition of national Latino leaders took a strong position opposing the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA, citing his long record working to undermine the environmental protections and enforcement entrusted to this vital agency. We all deserve better than someone like Pruitt who puts cooperation with industrial polluters above the health and welfare of consumers and children. Climate is a serious concern for Latinos and one they view as affecting them personally. Senators would do well to remember that this is an issue of particular significance for many Latino voters.” – Laura M. Esquivel, Director of National Advocacy, Hispanic Federation

“We need an EPA administrator who will protect all of us, especially those with the least resources, from exposures to toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer and other health issues. Scott Pruitt is not that person. Pruitt’s record shows time and time again that he puts corporate profit before public health. He is an anti-regulation, anti-science, corporate crony who has consistently worked with corporations that expose us to toxic chemicals in order to attack—and even sue—the EPA.” – Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Action.

“The political revolution relies on those who fight for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice– and there will be no environmental justice if Scott Pruitt is in charge of the EPA. Pruitt’s disturbing denial of science and close financial ties to the fossil fuel industry make him completely unfit to hold the position– and would put the future of our planet and the lives of future generations at risk. Our country deserves a leader who understands that we have a moral obligation to reduce emissions and invest in renewable energy– not the man who has sued the EPA over their Clean Power Plan. We will fight this appointment like our lives depend on it – because they do.” – Shannon D. Jackson, Executive Director, Our Revolution

“Progressive Democrats of America believes that Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to head the Environmental Protection Agency.  While the Trump regime appears to be devoted to the oil industry and Pruitt would undoubtedly advance that agenda, the EPA is too important to maintaining and advancing issues of human health and safety to allow it to be run by a person whose allegiance is to the fossil fuel industry.  Our environment matters to the health of the planet, to future generations and to the economic vitality of our communities.  Scott Pruitt cannot defend or support that which he does not believe in – a clean, healthy and safe environment for all.” – Donna Smith, Executive Director, PDA

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

“Agriculture can not produce healthy, safe, quality food if our nation’s air, soil, and water are contaminated.  Yet there are those, such as Trump’s pick for EPA head, Scott Pruitt, who would destroy the very laws that protect our natural heritage and food security – not just family farmers, but every American who eats should be gravely alarmed by the prospect of these essential environmental safeguards being in the hands of someone like Scott Pruitt.” – John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders

“Pruitt is the biggest environmental disaster Oklahoma has ever put in office, and that’s saying a lot coming from a state represented in the Senate for the last 22 years by James Inhofe. With EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment, all Americans should know that Pruitt doesn’t care about either, only about promoting his own pro-polluter agenda.” – Earl Hatley, the Grand Riverkeeper and Oklahoma indigenous activist

“Environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change affect the daily lives of millions of Americans and represent some of the greatest moral challenges of our time. The EPA Administrator is tasked with meeting these challenges by defending all of us, and especially the poor and the vulnerable, from the consequences of pollution and the harmful impacts of a changing climate. Mr. Pruitt’s past actions suggest that he simply is not up to this task.” – Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, National Organizer, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

“I join the growing list of those who stand in opposition to Scott Pruitt’s appointment to head the EPA. Delaware is a coastal state which, many forecasts predict, will experience huge impacts from climate change. Delaware’s current challenges with access to clean water and clean air coupled with a legacy of industrial and agricultural contamination requires enhanced EPA protections which according to Scott Pruitt’s environmental record he is not willing to provide. I urge you to vote against Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA.” – Dennis J. Coker, Principal Chief, Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware

“Like so many of Trump’s nominees, Pruitt is the worst possible choice. If confirmed he will gut protections for water and air and boost oil, gas and coal company profits and executive pay at the expense of future climate change catastrophe.  Senators should reject Scott ‘Polluting’ Pruitt.” – Jonathan Westin, Director of New York Communities for Change (NYCC).