It breaks my heart to tell you that the dangerous and cynical nomination of Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt went to a Senate vote this afternoon—and he was confirmed.
But we made a huge dent in his support—because so many of you spoke truth to the politicians who work for you. What’s sad is that so many of those politicians have lost their moral compasses. We have put them on notice, though. We will not stand by and watch the dismantling of one of America’s crown jewels: the Clean Air Act.
Make no mistake: Scott Pruitt and many of his pollution cronies are bent on a path of destruction, one that is being sold to the people under a cover of lies and disinformation. What we will see, as he pushes his agenda, will not be a reasonable, conservative approach to making rules. We will see a profound, strategic dismantling of our health protections.
Contrary to what we will be told, scientists have established that humans are causing the destabilization of a beautiful climate in which human civilization has thrived for tens of thousands of years. That means we can do something about climate pollution—but only if we have the will. Pruitt will stop the efforts that have begun.
Contrary to what we will be told, mercury is a potent neurotoxin that is especially harmful to the brains of unborn babies. But Pruitt is suing to keep mercury “scrubbers” off coal plant smokestacks.
Contrary to what we will be told, regulations have not bankrupted companies and disrupted jobs. In truth, the opposite has happened—an entirely new industry in clean energy is being born. What’s stopped coal is natural gas, as energy executives—and most coal miners—know. But Pruitt will do everything he can to cripple the growth of renewables, on behalf of greedy oil and gas and chemical companies, who seem not to care about the chaotic and dangerous world their children will inherit.
We will pay a huge price for years of inaction on global warming. If clean air rules are rolled back, as this administration intends, our health, and our children’s health, will immediately suffer.
We lost this battle. But it was a necessary and worthy fight. We have put polluters and their henchmen on notice. We will be watching as an ill wind begins to waft out of EPA. We will be watching as health protections are eroded across the country—as they were under Pruitt’s watch in Oklahoma, where asthma rates and mercury contamination and the numbers of earthquakes, from fracking, are skyrocketing.
We will be watching and we will keep fighting. We will have to learn resilience. We will have to learn persistence. We will have to learn to detect lies and evasions.
Scott Pruitt has never—not once in his career—done a constructive thing to protect the safety of our children. He is not a builder. Pruitt—and this administration—have an agenda of destruction.
We are not going to make it easy for them to move forward. This is a vow I have made for my grandchild—to whom I want to be able to say, I did everything I could to fight evil, cynical, hell-bent politicians and polluters who were willing to give up our future well-being for a few more petrodollars.This is a shameful moment in our history. (Tweet this)
But we refuse to be silent about it.
Thank you for all your hard work. You made phone calls, wrote letters, visited senators and spoke at town halls. You did everything you could—and we will ask you to do all of these things, and more, over again many times in the next few years, I’m sure of it. Sad that we should have to fight to be able to keep our air and water clean. And crazy.
The agenda of Pruitt’s EPA —and the agenda of every single senator who voted to support him—is built on lies. It is immoral. Every vote to confirm him was an act of cowardice. That, at least, is now clear.