EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before the EPW Committee on January 30
Washington (January 23, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass,), Chair of the Senate Climate Task Force and a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today hosted several former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff to discuss willful neglect of the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency to provide basic enforcement and investigations of violations. Today’s discussion focused on Administrator Pruitt’s attacks on climate science, efforts to roll back fuel efficiency standards, and disregard for chemical safety regulations. The whistleblowers detailed how fear is rampant amongst America’s top climate scientists and how Administrator Pruitt has systematically defunded historic priorities of the agency. Next Tuesday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify in front of the EPW Committee.
“When the Trump administration isn’t busy allowing the government to shut down, it is actively trying to shut down the EPA,” said Senator Markey. “Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken numerous actions that appear to directly contradict the mission of the very agency he leads. He has attacked climate science, moved to roll back fuel efficiency standards, and left people exposed to toxic chemicals. The American people deserve transparent government and answers from Administrator Pruitt on these actions that he has taken as the head of this agency.”
“The EPA’s overall multi-year strategic plan seems to pay lip service to human health and environmental protection while suggesting that the EPA should be more concerned about economic development,” said Tom Ripp, who until recently worked in the Compliance Assurance Program in the Environmental Protection Agency.
“The Environmental Protection Agency – as all federal agencies – needs to be respectful of science, scientific principles and the scientific method. We did not get to the moon by ignoring the laws of gravity or physics,” said Mike Walker, former Director of the EPA’s National Enforcement Training Institute.
“With the continuing enforcement abdication by EPA, citizens, states, and localities will have to take public health protection into their own hands,” said Jeff Ruch, Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
“The Trump Administration is weakening the capacity of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect public health. Our most vulnerable communities, including communities of color, low-income, and indigenous, are already disproportionately impacted by climate change and exposure to pollutants. Further weakening the Agency’s regulations, enforcement capabilities, and programs will severely undercut progress made to protect these communities and address the life and death discrepancies they face on a daily-basis. Leaders should instead focus on utilizing and building off the Agency's existing tools and programs to move our most vulnerable communities from surviving to thriving,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus, and former Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice and Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Copies of the witness testimonies can he found HERE.
Last week, Senator Markey sent three letters to Administrator Pruitt questioning his attacks on science, his secrecy, his policy decisions and whether he may have violated the terms of his ethics agreement.