Letter: Demand climate leadership
It seems that the fox has been purposefully installed in the hen house. The newly installed head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is wasting no time in going after the rules that protect America’s environment from corporate polluters. At a recent event for conservative voters, EPA’s new administrator Scott Pruitt went so far as to say that critics were “justified” in wanting the agency disbanded. Pruitt doubts the basics of climate science. And now he is busy reversing even the small initial steps that the federal government has taken to address climate change.
As Pruitt teases the deregulation crowd with talk of agency “disbandment,” there is real concern among many that Pruitt’s record is more about serving polluters than protecting the environment. As President Trump prepares to unleash an assault on the environment, gutting climate regulations, slashing the EPA budget, and rolling back land, water and clean air protections that have existed for decades, he should know that he and his accomplice Scott Pruitt have no mandate to do so.
The Trump administration should be aware, as should our members of Congress, that America won’t stand rolling back basic environmental protections. The U.S. EPA exists for a reason. Pollution doesn’t adhere to the straight lines of state and political boundaries, but is national and international in scope.
We can hope that Congress will do more to hold the administration accountable. But we cannot rely on it doing so. Government doesn’t exist to serve the interests of its few principals installed in high positions or its political funders. This administration should work for its citizens and the public interest, not the polluters and special interests. If Congress and our senators refuse to be the check that the Founding Fathers foresaw, then voters will need to straighten that out, too. Demand leadership. Act on climate.