To say Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt doesn’t have many fans in the environmental justice, conservation, or climate communities is an understatement. On Wednesday, ten major environmental groups announced they’re totally done with Pruitt by launching a coordinated campaign to oust him under the monicker of #BootPruitt.
It includes high-profile opinion pieces and projecting Pruitt’s misdeeds onto EPA headquarters. The groups also took out an ad buy on Fox and Friends and Morning Joe playing Pruitt’s recently unearthed comments calling Donald Trump “an empty vessel” to reach anyone who may be enjoying, say, a little executive time.
“Every audience deserves to hear what Scott Pruitt is doing to our air, our water, and our health—even Donald Trump,” Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the ads. “Pruitt is endangering families and wasting taxpayer dollars. That would be enough to get him fired twice in any normal administration.”
Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes told Earther she couldn’t think of a campaign against an EPA administrator like the one currently underway.
But then there’s never been an administrator quite like Pruitt who has questioned sound science, asked smog deniers for science advice, is OK with kids handling pesticides, and traveled in luxury on the public’s dime to name but a few of the ways he has tarnished the agency.
And of course it launched on the same day another scandal hit the EPA. The agency sent out completely misleading talking points on climate change in an effort to further undermine science that leaked to HuffPost. Pruitt is also considering rolling back car fuel efficiency standards, a move that would add carbon emissions fuel to the fire cooking our planet.
Whether the campaign, led by the Hip Hop Caucus, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and other high-profile groups can change the president’s mind is certainly up for debate. Pruitt reportedly is in good standing with Donald Trump, and is in no danger of losing his job despite running the agency in a way completely at odds with its mission to protect public health.
To be fair, Donald Trump may be unaware of its mission, but others who are have been sounding the alarm about Pruitt beyond the #BootPruitt campaigners.
“My principal concern is that Pruitt and the people he’s hired to work with him don’t fundamentally agree with the mission of the agency,” William Ruckelshaus, the first EPA administrator who also filled the role under Reagan, told The New Yorker for a lengthy dissection of Pruitt’s tenure to-date.