Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 18, 2017

Contact: Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,

Senate Considers Nomination of Science Denier Scott Pruitt to Head EPA

WASHINGTON— The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today begins a nomination hearing on President-elect Trump's selection of Oklahoma attorney general and climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

“When scientific facts inconvenience corporate polluters, Pruitt gleefully throws science under the bus,” said KierĂ¡n Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “From carbon dioxide to chicken manure, Priutt never met a pollutant he didn't like. Senators must recognize that this corporate shill's disturbing history of science denial on climate change and other environmental threats make him utterly unfit to lead a science-driven agency charged with protecting Americans from pollution.”

As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt put the brakes on a crucial legal effort to clean up tons of chicken manure contaminating state waterways. Pruitt also worked closely with major oil companies to fight federal efforts to reduce pollution from drilling and fracking, even parroting oil industry talking points nearly word for word.

Pruitt has sued the agency he aims to lead 14 times over federal regulations meant to protect Americans from climate pollution, contaminated water and other threats. He even joined a lawsuit against the EPA's lifesaving mercury standards, which experts estimate will prevent about 11,000 premature births every year.

Pruitt has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from oil companies and other fossil fuel interests. Shrugging off the scientific consensus on climate change, he has falsely claimed that many scientists continue to disagree on the issue. Pruitt even questioned whether greenhouse gases really drive global warming — a fact established more than a century ago. “That debate is far from settled,” Pruitt wrote.

“For Pruitt, pollution pays,” Suckling said. “He's taken vast amounts of money from some of the nation's dirtiest industries, from oil companies to poultry corporations. In return, he's enthusiastically supported dangerous practices that disrupt our climate and foul the very air we breathe. Pruitt would be the worst, most dangerous leader the EPA has ever had.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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