February 17, 2017

Wyden to Vote “No” on Scott Pruitt to Head the Environmental Protection Agency

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will vote against confirming Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today.  

“Americans ought to have confidence that the head of the EPA recognizes what this job is all about – defending the health of families and communities, not the profits of energy companies or any other special interest. Yet Mr. Pruitt has given no such assurance. 

“The EPA is at the heart of maintaining clean air and clean water for every person in this country. But Mr. Pruitt has made a career of denying climate science, attempting to weaken or even get rid of worker protections, air quality standards for toxic air pollutants and basic environmental standards. Those rollbacks would hurt us all.

“Particularly after a judge has ordered him to release thousands of his emails as Oklahoma’s attorney general just days from now, the Senate should not hold a vote on a nominee when more information may come to light about a questionable association with the very industries he would be regulating as head of the EPA. In the interest of transparency, senators should be able to read these emails before voting in order to make a fully informed decision.

“I share the concerns of the thousands of Oregonians and hundreds of current and former EPA employees who have expressed their opposition to Mr. Pruitt. I will vote against him today because I do not have confidence in a Pruitt EPA.”

Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley joined 28 of their colleagues yesterday in calling on Pruitt to recuse himself from all issues related to lawsuits he brought against the EPA to overturn or weaken clean air and water pollution standards.

Read a letter from almost 800 former EPA employees who wrote to Wyden and other senators with their concerns about Scott Pruitt leading the EPA.


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