CFE/Save the Sound, 791 others send letter opposing EPA pick

CFE-SavetheSoundNEWLOGOConnecticut Fund for the Environment and its bi-state program Save the Sound and 34 other organizations from Connecticut and New York are opposing nomination of fossil fuel industry insider and Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The organizations joined a letter, drafted by CFE/Save the Sound, addressed to the Trump transition team and copied to the region’s senators.

The letter also was signed by 757 individual residents of Connecticut, New York, and other states. The signatures were collected in less than a week.

“No American wants to go back to the days of smog-choked cities and oil-slicked rivers,” said Donald S. Strait, president of CFE/Save the Sound. “Over the last 40 years, the EPA has developed and enforced protections that have purified the air we breathe, cleaned up the Sound we love, helped slow climate change, and held polluters accountable. To place this critical agency in the hands of an administrator who has actively fought EPA clean water rules, Clean Air regulation, and the Clean Power Plan isn’t just letting the fox into the henhouse, it’s handing the fox the architectural blueprints and a stick of dynamite.

“But we refuse to go backward. Together, we are calling on the President-elect’s transition team to withdraw the nomination of Scott Pruitt and put forward a qualified nominee who will uphold our laws and protect clean air and clean water for all Americans.”

Organizations and officials joining the letter include the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters; the Connecticut chapter of the Sierra Club; the North Shore (LI) and Menunkatuck (CT) chapters of the Audubon Society; Fishers Island Conservancy; Hutchinson River Restoration Project; Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs; local conservation commissions, planning commissions, and energy task forces; watershed associations; museums and science education organizations; and many more.

The letter was sent Tuesday morning to Trump transition team headquarters in Washington, DC, and to the offices of the U.S. senators for Connecticut, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“If the president-elect insists on continuing to put Attorney General Pruitt forward,” the letter says, “we will call on our Senators to stand up not only for Connecticut’s and New York’s natural resources, but for our health and our regional economy, by firmly rejecting him.”

Text of the letter sent to the transition team and northeast senators:  

Dear Governor Pence and members of President-elect Trump’s transition team:

We, the undersigned, are a non-partisan group of 792 environmental organizations, businesses, elected officials, and individuals of New York and Connecticut with a vested interest in clean air, healthy water, and preserved lands. Collectively, we write to voice our strong opposition to the nomination of Attorney General Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We ask that President-elect Trump rescind the nomination and put forth a candidate dedicated to protecting — not exploiting—this country’s natural resources.

Attorney General Pruitt has actively fought EPA Clean Water rules, Clean Air regulation, and the Clean Power Plan. He is known for rejecting climate change data and has a history of promoting the interests of the fossil fuel industry. If confirmed as administrator of the EPA, we believe he would dismantle critical environmental programs and regulations that have taken decades to develop and have resulted in better air quality, cleaner rivers, and a healthier green economy for the country’s citizens.

Locally, we are concerned that the policies championed by Mr. Pruitt will have adverse, long-term impacts on the Long Island Sound region. With the support of the EPA, our region has seen the benefit of investing in thousands of green jobs; enhancing enforcement of the law against polluters who dump toxic waste into the soil and the nation’s waters; increasing air quality protections through the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule; committing to climate action through the Clean Power Plan and the Paris climate agreement; financing to protect shoreline communities from storms like Sandy and Irene; and programs to protect healthy drinking water and Long Island Sound’s water quality. Under Mr. Pruitt these strides would be stripped away, replaced with lax regulations that benefit fossil fuel promoters and natural resource polluters while leaving your citizens vulnerable.

No U.S. citizen wants to go back to the days of smog-choked cities and burning rivers.

Therefore, we respectfully ask Mr. Trump and the transition team to withdraw the nomination of Scott Pruitt and put forward a qualified nominee who will uphold the law and protect clean air and clean water for all Americans.

If the president-elect insists on continuing to put Attorney General Pruitt forward, we will call on our Senators to stand up not only for Connecticut’s and New York’s natural resources, but for our health and our regional economy, by firmly rejecting him.

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