WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement announcing his opposition to the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
“It is clear from his testimony and his record that Mr. Pruitt does not believe in the EPA’s mission to protect the public health and the public interest of the people of this nation.
“As Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt has regularly used his office to oppose the work of the agency he would now be tasked with leading. He fought restrictions on dangerous methane leaks from oil and gas wells. He tried to block air quality actions that would generate nearly six billion dollars in health benefits and prevent 230,000 asthma attacks in children each year. And he opposed the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard meant to stop poisonous mercy, arsenic, lead and other pollutants from coal and oil-burning power plants from entering our communities and the environment.
“And in spite of the damage that climate change is already causing in our towns and our communities, damage we can see with our own eyes, as an advocate for the oil and gas industry, Mr. Pruitt refuses to admit the reality of this catastrophic threat to our planet.
“Instead of Scott Pruitt, we need an EPA Administrator who is guided by science, and is committed to the agency’s mission of protecting Americans’ health and our natural environment.”