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Terrible Choice: Trump Picks Fossil Fuel Industry Ally to Head EPA

Dec. 7, 2016

Terrible Choice: Trump Picks Fossil Fuel Industry Ally to Head EPA

Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program

Note: According to reports, President-elect Donald Trump will nominate fossil fuel ally and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt is a noted skeptic of climate change science and EPA critic.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a terrible choice to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is cozy with the oil and gas industry and treats the EPA like an enemy. Both of those positions put him at odds with what the American people want and what’s best for the country.

Most troubling is Pruitt’s climate change denial. Climate denialism is the wrong direction for the president-elect and the wrong direction for America. We are already spending billions of dollars to repair damage from extreme weather and make our infrastructure more resilient to resist future assaults. If we don’t act quickly to curb global warming, it will soon overwhelm us with trillions of dollars in costs, a rise in avoidable disease and illnesses, and a more violent, politically unstable world. Solutions are readily available, if only we could muster the political will to use them. For the most part, the solutions entail remaking our electricity and transportation infrastructure, a process that would be wildly beneficial to the country because it would create millions of jobs, boost public health and permanently reduce energy and transportation costs.

Trump campaigned on a promise to “make America great again.” The way to do that is to show leadership in fighting the most terrible threat of our time and, in the process, revitalize the economy and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Despite small reasons to hope in recent days that Trump might move away from the climate-denying stance of his presidential campaign, the choice of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA is a move in the opposite direction. It’s a victory for last century’s fossil fuel barons and a terrible loss for the future of America.