Will the House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee Give Scott Pruitt a Pass?

I signed a petition on Action Network telling House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee to Hold Scott Pruitt Accountable.

The Petition is an action of the March for Science Organization.

On December 7, at 10:00 AM, Mr. Pruitt will meet with the Environment Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce Subcommittee.  The title of the hearing is The Mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is the only witness.

I don’t know about you, but it looks like the Republicans on the committee have set the stage to bash whatever Obama’s administration did to protect the environment.  Take a look at this statement, the only one sent out by the Committee announcing the hearing:

“We’re looking forward to receiving a much-needed update from Mr. Pruitt on his priorities for the agency, including his stated policy of getting EPA “back to the basics” and its impact on the agency’s activity going forward,” said Walden and Shimkus. “Following EPA’s controversial and expansive interpretation of its authorities during the past administration, it is past time for EPA to refocus on pursuing its important public health and environmental missions as Congress originally intended.”

March on Science states that

Under Pruitt’s leadership, the EPA has silenced scientists, rolled back vital projects and regulations, and mischaracterized as “controversial” established scientific consensus on observable, documented phenomena such as climate change.

It is very clear from statements on the Committee website, that they support vigorously Pruitt’s priorities.  The Democrats on the committee have to ask hard questions, such as some of these suggested by the March for Science:

  • Why has Pruitt limited the role of scientists serving as science advisers to the EPA, instead replacing them with science denialists?
  • Why is Pruitt continuing to question the scientific consensus on climate change, ignoring the findings of a recent report from the Trump administration that concluded that humans are the primary drive behind climate change?
  • What are Pruitt’s continued plans to roll back regulations that protect our air and water?

The environment is being decimated not only by major corporate greed, but Trump and his allies.  Just today, he abused the Antiquities Act by taking huge chunks of land that are part of two National Monuments, Bears Ears National Monument (reduced by 1.3 million acres), and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (reduced by 1.9 million acres).  Much of this land is sacred to the Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo of Zuni, Ute Mountain and Ute Indians.  And the Senate, in its Tax Scam, added a provision that will enable oil exploration in the Alaska wilderness.

Pruitt and Trump have done great harm to the environment, affecting not only Americans, but people around the world.  These guys are a Clear and Present Danger to us, and the inept Congress is the enabler.  Here are a few things they’ve done (thank you, Keith Gaby)

  • Called for a reduction of 31% of the EPA budget, causing the loss of thousands of jobs, and putting American families at risk from mercury, lead, smog, carbon pollution, as well cast serious doubt on the enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.
  • Stocking the Agency with people who have no experience with science, or the environment, and bring many conflicts of interest, especially with people he’s hired from oil, gas, and chemical industries.
  • Ignoring, actually shutting out, scientific advisors who have the knowledge and experience to offer the advice that the government needs to make sound decisions.
  • And, of course, the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.  The other 2 nations not signing on are Nicaragua and Syria.

The March for Science suggests, as science advocates, we must be concerned with Pruitt’s anti-science policies and his alarmingly close ties to industries known for the damage they can cause to the environment. His actions thus far are not only in direct contradiction with the EPA’s stated mission, they show incredibly ineffective and inefficient leadership and a lack of concern over wasting government time and taxpayer dollars.

We must urge the legislators on this Subcommittee to stand up for science-based policy, and hold Pruitt accountable for his efforts to dismantle the EPA.


You can link to the Committee’s page, and find who are the representatives on this committee.

About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University.



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