Scott Pruitt doesn’t belong in EPA

Ted Wu, Sports Editor/ Social Media

    President Donald Trump’s administration reeks of science deniers and is justifiably being regarded with unprecedented skepticism from the scientific community, especially his pick for the post of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt.

    The fact that Pruitt was nominated in the first place represented a dangerous catering to Big Polluters, large, private companies that have a vested interest in denying the science behind climate change and global warming.

  According to the Huffington Post, during his tenure as the attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA, the agency he now heads, a grand total of 13 times. A man so openly hostile to the EPA’s mission of keeping the country’s water and air clean should not be serving as its chief. Indeed, Pruitt has even described himself in the past as the “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” characterizing his anti-environmentalist philosophy.

    His lawsuits have included four attempts to block the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a regulatory law aimed at curbing carbon emissions among power generators. In all his lawsuits, in which he has also challenged the EPA’s ability to regulate toxins like mercury and atmospheric haze pollutants, the judicial system has not once sided with him, maintaining regulations to protect the health of the American people. Now, with Trump’s administration in power and Pruitt at the helm, regulations like the CPP are in danger of being eliminated.

      On March 28, Trump issued an executive order mandating a review of the CPP, a first step in the process of having it removed.

    Perhaps even more dangerous is his denial of the human impact on climate change. Pruitt does not believe that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global warming, despite agreement in the scientific community over the last few decades that there is a significant relationship between them. His rejection of the scientific consensus is frightening at best, threatening the progress made by the EPA over the past eight years in protecting the environment. Though, as the administrator of the EPA, he does not quite have the power to dismantle laws and regulations. He does have the ability to not enforce them, effectively rendering them null and void and unchecking the balances set in previous administrations on climate change.

    In fact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, unchecked climate change will affect more than one might imagine. Though combating climate change has often been depicted as simply wildlife conservation, allowing climate change to simply run rampant will impact food security, increase risk of flooding, and lead to major infrastructure crises in rural areas unequipped to deal with the side effects of climate change. Instead of taking action to reduce the severity of what is to come, he has been stacking the EPA with fellow climate science deniers.

    With a clear and present danger in the nation’s highest office for protecting the environment, both the scientific community and everyday citizens must step up to demand the continued protection of the environment.

    The voice of the people continues to be the most powerful weapon against political endeavors unfavorable to the good of the people, and now is the time to wield it. Making concerted efforts to reduce one’s own carbon footprint while writing to Congressmen and other politicos to let them know where one stands may seem miniscule and useless, but with thousands of people doing the same, the impact is powerful.