Energy & Environment

Greens launch six-figure campaign against EPA nominee

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An environmental group is launching a new advertising campaign against the confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Clean Air Moms Action, a project of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, said Tuesday it is spending at least $100,000 on the campaign which centers on children’s health concerns, targeting the Washington, D.C., area, and six states with senators who could swing the confirmation vote.

The television and digital campaign is the latest salvo in the high-stakes battle over Scott Pruitt, the current attorney general of Oklahoma, and Trump’s pick for the EPA. Only 51 senators would need to approve his confirmation for it to pass, and Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate.


The ads focus on Pruitt’s leading role in fighting President Obama’s 2011 rule limiting mercury and other air toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

The television ad cites scientific research to say that mercury harms children’s health, but says Pruitt doubted that science in court filings fighting the regulation.

“We can’t trust Pruitt with our kids’ health,” the voiceover says. “Ask the Senate to vote ‘no’ on Pruitt.”

The ad also highlights that Pruitt accepted more than $300,000 in donations from the fossil fuel industry.

Meanwhile, Pruitt is getting some new support from conservative circles.

FreedomWorks, a free-market group backed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, Tuesday made Pruitt’s confirmation its first “key vote” of 2017. FreedomWorks uses key votes to score lawmakers.

“Under his leadership at the EPA, Americans can have safe air and water and protection from government overreach through rules and regulations,” Adam Brandon, the group’s president, said in a post.

“Attorney General Pruitt is a staunch believer in federalism and Article I of the Constitution, which charges the legislative branch with the power to make laws, not executive-level regulatory agencies. He has also seen the negative impact regulation has on businesses and consumers,” Brandon wrote.

Pruitt could get a confirmation hearing in the Environment and Public Works Committee this month.

Tags Donald Trump Environmental Defense Action Fund Environmental Protection Agency Mercury
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