The P in EPA Does Not Stand for Pruitt
by Sachi Rai
Politics are never straight forward, especially when it comes to the environment. With the transition in the presidency, it is easy to get sidetracked by a myriad of other issues. While all of these issues are important, it is essential that we as a society remember to stay informed about the environment and current events going on around them.
Donald Trump’s transition into the presidency involves him appointing new cabinet members, and some of his choices have raised significant concerns and criticisms. One of the appointees raising the most concern is named Scott Pruitt.
Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt is our new president’s choice for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA. The EPA is the federal agency founded in 1970 with the goal of protecting our environment and its inhabitants. It works to ensure that the United States of America is acting in its best interest for the future. It is easy for large corporations to be tempted by immediate profits that can come from exploitation of the environment, so the EPA serves as a reminder to regulate our actions as a nation. It is concerning that the man who has been put in charge of this organization - which has historically fought to combat global warming - is a climate change denialist. Beyond that, Pruitt has a history of actually fighting the EPA, having launched fourteen lawsuits against the agency. He was also funded by the fossil fuel industry and is said to have received almost $240,000 from them and their representatives. This information is available on multiple reliable news sources, including Inside Climate News and The Charlotte Observer.
Beyond this nomination, Donald Trump has also issued a ban on the EPA from communicating on social media or communicating with reporters about social media.
But hope is not lost; events all over the world have been taking place to advocate for our environment in a time when our government is not. The Women’s Marches that took place all over the world on January 21st were a monumental step in advocating for women’s rights, but also in advocating for the climate. I personally attended the one in Washington D.C. and was amazed by the number of climate advocates present. Signs such as “No planet B” and “Keep your tiny hands off our planet” are just two examples of the dozens I witnessed.
Washington D.C. also had a recent incident with Green Peace, where they scaled the a crane nearby the White House, and hung a large banner stating “RESIST”.
Events like these are meant to provide a foundation for meaningful change in our society. Each and every individual has a say in politics. Don’t be afraid to email or call your state senators to discuss their stances on environmental issues, don’t be afraid to go out and volunteer your time or resources, and most of all don’t be afraid to make your voice heard. We only have one planet, and it is up to people like you to stand up for it.
Editor's Note: Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the head of the EPA on Feb. 2 2017