Scott Pruitt heading EPA like putting Custer in charge of Indian Affairs
© Greg Nash

Putting Scott Pruitt in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency is an absolute disaster for every American who relies on clean air and clean water. I have seen firsthand here in Oklahoma what his policies mean for families and communities like mine. 

Scott Pruitt is not only a climate denier, but a man who has proven time and again that he is willing to collude with the oil and gas industry to ensure that they get their way – no matter what the consequences for the citizens of Oklahoma. 


Put simply: Putting Scott Pruitt in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency is akin to putting General George Custer in charge of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We are devastated in Oklahoma because of Scott Pruitt and those who share his reckless beliefs about our environment. The Ponca community that I represent has suffered greatly as a result of oil and gas pollution. 

We have seen more drilling and fracking in our communities, and an increase in the threats to our land and water.

Pipelines run through my community near our water sources. As fracking in Oklahoma has gone on unchecked during Pruitt’s time in office here, those pipelines have started to pose a greater and greater threat.

One of the environmental threats that has worsened significantly in my state during Pruitt’s time in office is the threat of earthquakes from injection wells. Earthquakes are frequently a byproduct of the fracking process, and these man-made quakes have intensified in frequency and magnitude over recent years. Recently Oklahoma was the site of the largest earthquake ever induced by humans.

As a result, every time we suffer from an earthquake the integrity of the oil and gas pipelines in my community are threatened. When you live on a nest of earthquakes, and there are pipelines present there is no doubt that those pipelines are being ruptured and damaged. If a pipeline were to burst or rupture as a result of a quake, it would be catastrophic to my community and our water supply.

Scott Pruitt knows this is the reality for me and many other Oklahomans, but he has continued to do nothing and instead he has chosen to protect his friends in the oil and gas industry.

Those who question Pruitt’s ties to the oil and gas industry need only to look at the reaction to his nomination from industry. Immediately after he was nominated, spokespeople from the oil and gas industry were praising the pick, and beginning to celebrate the benefit to their bottom line.

They are eager to see Pruitt take over this agency and rollback regulations that keep Americans safe, but impede their bottom lines. We do not need another friend of oil and gas in the Trump administration – we need someone who understands the real threat that pollution from oil and gas production poses to American citizens and their well-being.

If you want to know what kind of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will be, all you need to do is look to Oklahoma. He has ignored the very real threats to Oklahomans that are posed by the oil and gas industry and continued to work closely with those companies to ensure that their business practices are not impeded in the name of public health.

He has repeatedly given voice to wealthy oil and gas executives rather than advocate on behalf of the people that their polluting business practices hurt. He has consistently put those corporate interests above the health and well-being of the people he is meant to represent in Oklahoma, and there is no reason to believe that he would be any different if given the chance to run the EPA.

Casey Camp-Horineck, and she is a tribal councilwoman for the Ponca Tribe in Oklahoma.

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