Debate continued all night in the U.S. Senate on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Opposing his confirmation and going after him especially hard, were Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Duckworth, a highly-decorated Veteran who lost both legs as a helicopter pilot in Iraq, blasted Pruitt for being in the pocket of the fossil-fuel industry and said the United States should not be fighting more wars for oil based on a continued lack of energy independence.
“As someone who fought to defend this great nation, I have seen firsthand the price we pay for our dangerous dependence on oil imported from adversaries,” said Duckworth. “I’ve already fought a war over oil and I would rather run my car on American-grown corn and soybeans than on oil from the Middle East.”
“We need an EPA administrator who will work with Congress to help us find ways to cut, not increase, our use of oil.”
The Illinois Senator also cited the large amount of money Pruitt gets from the fossil-fuel industry as the reason for his apparent hostility on environmental issues.
“He is not fit to lead this agency. An agency he has sued every single chance he’s gotten to block protections for clean air and water. I wonder why he does that. Here might be a reason why: According to the National Institutes on Money in State Politics, it appears that Mr. Pruitt has received over $314,000 from fossil-fuel industries since 2002. I guess he’s being rewarded by the fossil-fuel industry for suing the EPA over and over again.”
Booker’s lengthy speech covered many areas but perhaps the most alarming was when he pointed out that Trump has nominated, in Pruitt, a climate-change denier to head the agency with stewardship over the environment.
“On top of his track record — not for doing things to improve the quality of the air and water but doing things consistently to fight the EPA — on one of the largest issues going on with our planet right now, Mr. Pruitt says that he denies the science and the reality of climate change.”
And Booker accurately calls out Pruitt for recently moving toward the new Republican tactic of not outright denying climate change, but rather constantly pushing doubt on whether human activity is the source.
“He’s a merchant of doubt when it comes to climate change. And he’s attempting to sow uncertainty where there is in fact considerable certainty and as a result he is deliberately undermining and misrepresenting the reality of the case. This is the person intended by the president to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, someone who is a merchant of doubt.”
Added Duckworth: “[We’re aware of] this administration’s tradition of using alternative facts. The alternative to facts is fiction and we can’t afford to have an EPA Administrator who questions climate change.”