By Tom Valtin, Sierra Club
Journalist, political commentator, and native Oklahoman Bill Moyers went on record recently on the Moyers & Company website to say that “President Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency might put it on the endangered species list.
“Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has a track record of putting the business interests of the energy sector before the environmental and health interests of the public,” Moyers says. “He has spent his career fighting the rules and regulations of the agency he is now being nominated to lead. His expected confirmation threatens to make America great again—for polluters.”
Moyers elaborates in this 8-minute web essay:
Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary for President Lyndon Johnson, has won numerous awards for his investigative journalism, and he has long taken a keen interest in environmental issues. According to the Moyers & Company website, “Since the launch of Moyers & Company in 2012, Bill has interviewed many notable environmental leaders, scientists, and activists about climate change to better understand the path we are on, and what we need to do to save our planet.” A selection of these interviews can be found here.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was proposed by President Richard Nixon in 1970 and began operation in December of that year, with a stated mission “to protect human health and the environment.”
According to the agency’s website, the EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
– All Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
– National efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
– Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
– Environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
– All parts of society — communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments — have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
-Environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and
– The United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt turned his office into a crony capitalist institution, suing the EPA on behalf of big polluter “clients,” who then turned around and gave nearly a quarter million dollars to his re-election campaign. His own work bio calls him “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
In his confirmation hearing last week before the U.S. Senate, Pruitt said he equivocated when asked if he believes human activity is the main driver behind climate change. He acknowledged that there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change, said the issue needs more debate. Watch this video and read the transcript of the exchange between Senator Bernie Sanders and Pruitt.