Bill’s video report on why Scott Pruitt is completely unfit to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (above) prompted nearly 2,500 people to write in on Facebook. It has been shared almost 95,000 times — an indication of how passionately the public feels about the EPA’s vital role in protecting our environmental and health interests.
Pruitt, who is Oklahoma’s attorney general, has spent his career fighting the rules and regulations of the agency he is now nominated to lead. He has sued the EPA 14 times, and The New York Times found that 13 of those lawsuits included co-parties that had given money to Pruitt’s campaign or to an affiliated PAC.
On Thursday, Republican senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee suspended rules that required at least one Democratic senator be in attendance and voted 11-0 to approve Pruitt’s nomination. Democrats on the committee walked out and sent a letter to the Oklahoma attorney general’s office demanding more complete information about his potential conflicts of interest. The full Senate is expected to vote on Pruitt’s nomination early next week.
Here’s a (lightly edited) sampling of what people had to say on Facebook.
A bad idea
What to do?
“It is so important to call your senators and representatives and tell them to vote against Pruitt’s nomination. I have been advised to call their local offices, not their Washington DC offices (where all voicemail boxes are full forevermore!). Local offices will usually be answered by a human being, and the information will be transferred to the rep the same day.” — Mma Murphy
“The best form of action: Use the economic hammer. Use the language Republicans understand. Use the power of the purse… Buy from green companies or businesses that respect the environment.” — Joe Marine
Lake Erie, then and now
“To think Richard Nixon, a Republican, started the EPA. I live in Erie, Pennsylvania. Our great lake was virtually dying at that time, now it is one of the great sport fisheries in the world. — John Innocenzi
Pruitt and the Koch brothers
“Oklahoma is experiencing earthquakes at an unprecedented and alarming rate. People’s lives and property are in jeopardy. Rather than act to protect the citizens he was elected to represent and protect, Pruitt has consistently sided with the Koch brothers and the oil industry. Must all oversight and enforcement be scuttled in order to feed the greed of Charles and David Koch?” — Jim Coughlin
We need jobs
“People wonder why manufacturing jobs have left the country. Well, it’s the horrific, unreasonable regulations imposed on them that send these companies overseas. I want a clean environment but I also want people to have jobs. This is a balancing act I know, but it can be accomplished without the EPA killing jobs and energy production.” [Editor’s note: The Atlantic recently reported on jobs losses and the EPA.] — Mary Luepnitz Scherzer Miller
A clueless country?
“I ask my Republican friends to call our Republican representatives and ask them if they have looked seriously at climate change science. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) responded to me that the EPA has over-reached with regulations and he thinks we need a balance. He totally missed my point that if we don’t stop emissions and overuse of fossil fuels we will destroy our quality of life, our natural world and experience real economic collapse. We seem to be the only developed country that doesn’t get this.” — Milly West
A new commodity
“When the air and water are so polluted you will have to buy clean air and water — they are just creating a new commodity. I remember the fight for water rights in California a few years back.” — Bob Lotman