Blogs > Conservation

EPA Nominee is No Friend of the Environment

December 15, 2016

With his nomination of Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, President-elect Trump has confirmed some of our worst fears.

The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment—work that is critical to hiker health and to the mountains, rivers, and forests central to AMC’s mission.  Scott Pruitt’s track record as a leader of lawsuits against the EPA (many of which have been unsuccessful) and his close ties to the oil and gas industry (about which he isn’t shy) undermine any pretense of science-based objectivity about the environmental challenges we face as a nation and a planet.

As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt’s list of lawsuits against the EPA include calling for overturning the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and rolling back the more protective 2015 Ozone Standards, as well as the Cross-State Air Pollution rule to limit air pollution that drifts to the Northeast from upwind states. AMC has advocated for these essential science-based policies that will protect clean air and water, healthy forests and ecosystems, and the health of outdoor recreationists.

We have documented the improvements in acid rain, ozone, and haze in the Northeast mountains as a result of effective implementation of the Clean Air Act over the last thirty years, encompassing both Republican and Democratic administrations. We have also researched and observed changes in our climate in the mountains including warmer temperatures and shorter snow seasons.  We support national action to reduce greenhouse gases as essential to curbing significant climate disruptions in the next 50 years.

AMC’s air quality science including “catching” clouds and studying their composition, pictured here. AMC is concerned that this science-based approach will be undermined by the President-elect’s EPA appointment, Scott Pruitt.

Environmental quality and a thriving economy go hand in hand. Again and again, the Clean Air Act has successfully improved our air quality while our economy has thrived.  Overall, the financial benefit-to-cost analysis of the Clean Air Act supports the benefits of maintaining successful air quality protection. A key example is the Acid Rain program, passed by a bipartisan Congress under George HW Bush in 1990, which led to documented reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions and acid rain through flexible market based strategies for industry to achieve emission reduction targets without huge economic burdens. The robust body of science that has driven clean air improvements and informs the understanding of climate impacts should not be ignored by the leader of the agency responsible for protecting our health and environment.

Let us stand together. Don’t let the Clean Air Act and environmental protections be dismantled.  Act now and ask your Senator to commit to confirming an EPA Administrator that stands by sound science to protect outdoor recreationists’ health, and the resources we go outside to enjoy.

 

Our colleagues at the Environmental Defense Fund have created a factual, non-partisan, and hard-hitting video about Scott Pruitt’s unsuitability for the position of EPA Administrator. Choose play below, or click here to watch the video. For a fact sheet with more information from EDF, click here.

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Georgia Murray

Conservation and Nature Notes blogger Georgia Murray has been AMC's Air Quality Staff Scientist since 2000. She has an M.S. degree in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire and currently oversees the clubs air quality and climate monitoring programs.