January 19, 2017

Van Hollen Statement in Opposition to Confirmation of EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt

Washington, DC - Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement announcing his opposition to the confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

"Scott Pruitt has spent his career attacking the EPA and its mission to protect our air, our water, and vital ecosystems like our beloved Chesapeake Bay. He has been a puppet for Big Oil and rejects the basic science of climate change. Putting him in charge of the EPA would violate the common wisdom that you don't ask a fox to guard the hen house. I oppose his nomination to lead the EPA.

"In addition to being a natural treasure, the Chesapeake Bay is a key lifeline for Maryland's economy - for tourism, the boating industry, and the watermen who harvest the bounty of the Bay. The EPA plays a critical role in protecting the health of the Bay watershed. Yet, as the Attorney General of the landlocked state of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt sued the EPA to undermine our Bay cleanup efforts. Fortunately, the courts rejected this interference and our cleanup work continues. But based on his record, we cannot trust Mr. Pruitt be a good federal partner in our mission to protect the Bay.

"This is just one piece of Attorney General Pruitt's long history of opposing efforts to protect our air, our water, and the environment. Former Republican EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman summed it up well when she said, 'I don't recall ever having seen an appointment of someone who is so disdainful of the agency and the science behind what the agency does.'

"As we consider nominations, we must ask this most basic question: will the nominee faithfully carry out the mission of the office to which he or she has been nominated? Based on the record of Scott Pruitt, the answer is no."