New York Lawyers for the Public Interest is deeply dismayed that Donald Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. A former fossil fuel industry lobbyist, Pruitt has been a vigorous advocate for oil and gas companies as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. Not only has he led legal challenges to efforts to combat climate change, he has used his public office to singularly advance the positions of energy companies and their lobbyists, who have contributed generously to his political campaigns and causes. We expect that as head of the EPA he will continue to act as an agent for polluting companies, while failing to protect the vast majority of Americans who rely on clean air and water, and who want government action to mitigate climate change. We at NYLPI are most concerned for frontline environmental justice (EJ) communities, which already bear the highest burdens of pollution from waste, toxics, and greenhouse gas co-pollutants, and are also most vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change. But we know that, like the Native community at Standing Rock, EJ communities are mobilized to resist efforts to roll back key environmental protections as well as to advance their vision for a sustainable economy and a livable climate. We are more committed than ever to standing with our community partners to protect existing rights and to advance innovative local strategies for environmental enforcement, equity, and a renewable energy economy.
(Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/30/science/earth/01poll-document.html; https://thinkprogress.org/americans-concern-about-climate-change-is-growing-91730d76577a#.3lkevk5ng; http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/politics/energy-firms-in-secretive-alliance-with-attorneys-general.html)