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Businesses to Senate Committee: Oppose Scott Pruitt for Administrator of EPA

For Immediate Release: 
January 17, 2017

“Don’t lay out the welcome mat for polluters at EPA”

Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2017)—The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which with its member organizations represents more than 250,000 businesses, called on the Senate on Environment & Public Works to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A hearing on the nomination is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, at 10:00 AM.

“Our message to the committee is, ‘Don’t lay out the welcome mat for polluters at EPA,’” said David Levine, CEO and Co-founder of ASBC. “Good rules, regulations and oversight, such as EPA provides, keep business moving in the right direction. Our businesses believe that a strong EPA is essential to building a sustainable economy.”

ASBC sent a letter to the committee on behalf of the 250,000 businesses it represents. It said, in part:

“Mr. Pruitt is the wrong choice to lead the federal agency responsible for ensuring that our nation’s natural environment is managed so as to protect human health while also fostering economic development.

“Scott Pruitt’s selection as Administrator lays out the welcome mat for polluters at EPA. Since its inception in 1970, the EPA, whether under a Republican or Democratic administration, has sought to balance environmental stewardship and economic goals. Business leaders across the economy understand that environmental regulations are essential for economic growth and that they help to improve the quality of life in communities. However, Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated, time and again, that he is an outlier on this view and is inadequately concerned about these issues.

“His nomination proves that the new administration has chosen to prioritize the narrow economic self-interests of the fossil fuel industry and other polluters over growing the broader economy and creating U.S. jobs through investments in clean energy. Mr. Pruitt’s leadership will unfortunately give other countries competitive advantages if America fails to continue leading in building a clean energy industry here at home.

“This nomination also demonstrates a critical disregard for the impacts on businesses and the economy from extreme weather events. Supply chain disruptions and major storms can be economically disastrous, especially for small businesses, some of which never recover.

“His opposition to the Paris Climate Accord is not in the business community’s interest.

“Mr. Pruitt has been a consistent critic of regulations that require industries to account for the costs they impose on the environment, often justifying his position based on flawed science.

“Mr. Pruitt’s selection signals a roll back of policies that have stimulated innovation and progress. In addition to clean energy, clean water and chemical regulation are under threat as a result of preferential treatment regulated fossil fuel and other chemical industries are expected to receive.

“Ultimately, we have grave concerns that the Trump administration will starve the agency of necessary resources to execute its core functions of protecting our air from climate change inducing carbon pollution, protecting clean water for food and agricultural production, and ensuring chemical safety for the products in our stores. This selection will have an economically negative impact and will move us away from policies that have stimulated innovation and progress.

“ASBC calls on the committee to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator.”

The full letter may be found here.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network, it represents more than 250,000 business owners, executives and investors from a wide range of industries.