Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.
REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Attacks on Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“With historic opposition to his confirmation, Scott Pruitt should understand the scrutiny he will be under as Administrator of the EPA. With the notable exception of Senator Collins, whose no vote made opposition to Pruitt bipartisan, Senate Republicans proved once again they stand with Donald Trump and corporate polluters over the health of the American people. Despite many unanswered questions over corruption and far too cozy ties to Big Oil, Republican leaders jammed through EPA nominee Scott Pruitt. LCV applauds the many Democratic Senators who fought so hard – in the most contested EPA nomination ever – to protect all people in this country from the threats posed by Scott Pruitt. We will fiercely oppose Scott Pruitt at every step of the way when he attempts to gut commonsense safeguards for our air, water, land and the health of our families. ”
“Senate Republicans are attempting to jam through a nominee who fails any basic test of transparency and honesty required from a public official. Has Scott Pruitt lied to the American people? What favors did he give the oil and gas industry in exchange for their support? Until we have the answers, this nomination can go no further.”
“My fear is that a number of members, especially on the other side, will have been put in a very bad position, and asked to vote for a nominee that they otherwise may not have supported, having known the truth.”
“The pen of President Trump strikes again—this time depriving people of commonsense protections for our drinking water from toxic coal mining waste, forever. When Trump put his signature on this extreme law, he handed Big Polluters a free pass to dump their dangerous pollution into our drinking water.”
LCV IN THE NEWS
Huffington Post: Judge Orders Release Of EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt’s Fossil Fuel Emails
Common Dreams: 170 Conservation Groups Urge Senate to Reject Zinke for Interior Secretary
EE News: Senate weighs CRA on methane; more reforms on tap
EE News: Senate GOP Moves To Confirm Pruitt By Tomorrow
WEEK IN REVIEW:
Senate GOP Ignore Transparency, Possible Corruption and Force Through Scott Pruitt
Scott Pruitt passed the Senate on a controversial 52-46 vote today and will be sworn in later today as Administrator of the EPA. LCV President Gene Karpinski made it clear that LCV will vigorously oppose his pro-polluter policies: “We will fiercely oppose Scott Pruitt at every step of the way when he attempts to gut commonsense safeguards for our air, water, land and the health of our families.”
FORESIGHT: Trump’s EPA Pick Is Poised to Slide Past a Lawsuit Into Office – The Atlantic
THE DAMN EMAILS: Reeking of Hypocrisy, Republicans Ignore Need to Review Pruitt’s Emails
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office was ordered to turn over more than 2,500 emails and correspondence between Scott Pruitt and the oil and gas industry – by Tuesday. In a decision late Thursday, Judge Timmons criticized the attorney general’s office for its “abject failure” to abide by the open-records act. LCV President Gene Karpinski joined Senate Democrats in calling for the vote on Pruitt’s nomination to be delayed until the emails could be reviewed. Has Scott Pruitt lied to the American people?” he asked. “What favors did he give the oil and gas industry in exchange for their support?”
REMINDER: A Pulitzer Prize winning piece from Eric Lipton in the New York Times uncovered Pruitt’s corrupt relationship with Devon Energy with his copy-paste letter in 2011.
THE RESISTANCE: Senate Dems Stand up for American Families
Mitch McConnell pushed this nomination through over the objections of Senate Democrats and the Americans who opposed Scott Pruitt, proving once again that President Trump and his allies in Congress stand with corporate polluters over the health of the American people. Democratic Senators fought hard to protect all people in this country from the threats posed by Scott Pruitt and his extreme plans for the EPA. Led by EPW Ranking Member Carper, Democrats protested Scott Pruitt’s nomination by speaking all night on the Senate floor to highlight the individuals, communities and resources that will suffer the most from the Trump-Pruitt polluter-friendly agenda.
GOING SOLO: Sen. Susan Collins Stands Up For Health and Environment, Votes No
Sen. Susan Collins was the only Republican to vote against Pruitt in the full Senate vote, rejecting Pruitt’s “false choice of pitting the environment against the economy.” Sen. Collins decision was driven by the “significant threats” of climate change in her state, and doubts over the consistency of Pruitt’s vision for the EPA with the agency’s main responsibilities. “Once again,” said LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, “she has stood up to polluting interests and stood strong for the environment and public health.”
OPPOSED BY FORMER EPA OFFICIALS: Senators received a letter from nearly 800 former EPA officials, protesting Pruitt’s nomination.
… AND BY CURRENT EPA OFFICIALS: The New York Times reported Thursday that current EPA scientists, lawyers and policy experts had been calling Senators urging them to reject Pruitt’s nomination. It’s a sign of the fight to come, with former EPA Administrator Meg Whitman predicting standoffs between career EPA employees and the administration over their plans to limit the agency’s role in protecting the health of Americans.
ON DECK – GUTTING THE EPA: Trump, Pruitt Won’t Waste a Second Fulfilling Their Polluter-Friendly Agenda
President Trump plans to join Scott Pruitt on his first full day on the job with a fist full of primed and ready Executive Orders to gut our bedrock environmental safeguards that protect American families and communities. EPA staff have been warned that changes are on the horizon, and a range of two to five orders are currently in the cards.
CRA: Trump Overturns Stream Protection Rule, Putting U.S. Waters at Risk of Pollution
Coal mining companies are now free to dump their toxic waste into our waterways after President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act repeal of the Obama Administration’s Stream Protection Rule. “Although he claimed to support ‘crystal clear water’,” LCV President Gene Karpinski reminded voters, “his actions as president have deprived communities of their fundamental right to clean water.” A report this week found the rule, which protected 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, would have resulted at most in minimal jobs lost, a sharp rebuttal of GOP lawmakers reasoning behind its repeal.
This Week In Research:
Does Living Near Oil and Gas Wells Make You More Susceptible To Childhood Cancer?
Research from The University of Colorado recently found that there is a potential connection between being diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia between the ages of 5-24 and living near oil and gas activity.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK:
YOUR NUMBER IS UP: LCV to Release 2016 Environmental Scorecard
Will the results prove to be a crystal ball into the legislative battles ahead? What issues are primed to drive a wedge between the administration and Congress? Who is the most environmentally unfriendly member of Congress? The answers are coming next week.
#RESIST: Lawmakers Return Home to Face Constituents in Congressional Recess
With Congress in Recess next week, LCV volunteers will be active at town halls and events holding lawmakers accountable for their actions in the first month back in Washington.