Greens, industry send dueling letters to senators on Pruitt

Greens, industry send dueling letters to senators on Pruitt
© Greg Nash

Letters from both supporters and opponents of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominee Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEPA looks to other statutes to expand scope of coming 'secret science' rule EPA ordered to reconsider New York efforts to tame downwind pollution OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten smog standards amid pressure from green groups | Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects| Russian mining giant reports another fuel spill in Arctic MORE landed in senators’ inboxes on Thursday. 

In a note to senators on Thursday morning, industry groups backing Pruitt’s nomination called the Oklahoma attorney general “a stalwart defender against federal intrusion into state and individual rights” noting his opposition the EPA’s landmark climate rule for power plants. 

“Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated his commitment to upholding the Constitution and ensuring the EPA works for American families and consumers,” the groups — conservative and fossil fuel-funded organizations like the American Energy Alliance, Heritage Action, Club for Growth and others — wrote. 

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“Under Mr. Pruitt, we hope the EPA will follow the laws set forth by Congress and cooperate with states to advance its mission of keeping our air clean and our water pure. We fully support Mr. Pruitt for the position of EPA administrator and encourage the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.”

In a separate letter, the League of Conservation Voters urged senators to vote against Pruitt and his “radical record and the far-reaching damage he could do at the helm of the EPA.”

“Pruitt fails the basic test of basing decisions on sound science and upholding our nation’s bedrock environmental and public health laws,” LCV president Gene Karpinski wrote, adding that the group would score senators’ vote on Pruitt’s nomination. 

The letters come days before Pruitt faces senators publicly for the first time. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on his nomination on Wednesday. Democrats are expected to dissect Pruitt’s opinion on the causes of climate change while Republicans defend Pruitt’s legal battles against the agency he’s set to lead. 

The Sierra Club on Friday launched a series of digital ads against Pruitt, who has met with a handful of moderate Senate Democrats since Trump nominated him to head the EPA in December.