Updates, #SaveTheEPA, Beach Act, Water Quality
February 02 2017

New EPA head should be a friend to the environment not a foe

by Mara Dias

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment.  That means clean air, clean water and clean land for everyone.  The EPA implements and enforces the environmental laws that Congress passes by determining health and performance standards using the best available science, providing assistance to state and local government to help them protect and restore their natural resources and by stimulating innovation and scientific advancements through academic research support.

But with the new Administration and Scott Pruitt to take the helm of the EPA, these critical environmental programs that protect our health, environment and community safety are now at risk. Why?

On the campaign trail, President Trump stated firmly that he’d scrap the EPA, stating that it was doing more harm than good.  But the truth is, Americans didn’t vote for dirty water and more pollution.  There is a actually long bipartisan history in this country of supporting clean air, clean water and a healthy environment, which Pruitt and Trump’s Administration should be upholding rather than trying to destroy.

As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA, the very agency he’s set to oversee, 13 times. Many of those lawsuits attacked critical safeguards for water and the health of people who drink it. In addition, not only did he receive political contributions from the oil and gas industries, but Pruitt also allowed Devon Energy, an oil and gas firm, to write a complaint to the EPA on his Attorney General letterhead. And he recently expressed climate-denier tendencies when he said, "Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind...” 

After being nominated by Donald Trump, Pruitt said: “The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.” His cozy relationships with the energy industry, statements and actions are in a direct conflict to the role of the EPA Administrator.  These industries should not get a free pass to cause real, direct harm to public health and the environment, while raking in huge profits. Unfortunately Scott Pruitt has been handing out free passes to the big polluters for years.

We need a strong EPA to protect our public health and environment on a national level. It is imperative for every one of us to stand up to help protect the EPA and all that it represents and demand that our leaders and representatives in DC are working for us and not against us.   

Here’s how you can help:

  • Make Your Voice Heard. It is as easy as clicking this link to send an email to your Senator and ask them to reject the President’s appointment of Scott Pruit to lead the EPA.  Let them know that clean air and clean water are important to you and ask them to make sure EPA is empowered to continue to meet its mission.   
  • Get Involved. Attend a Surfrider chapter meeting. You’ll learn how you can work side by side our Surfrider network of volunteers to ensure clean water and safe, accessible beaches in coastal communities across the country.  We are fighting campaigns at the local, state & federal level to protect our coasts and to ensure safe and healthy beaches for everyone. 
  • Donate. The urgency of the work on the ground has never been more important.  Opening up your wallet and becoming a member, renew or give an additional donation will help fuel our network of volunteer coastal defenders with the resources they need to win at this most critical time. Please join us at: Surfrider.org/support-surfrider.

You can help protect our coasts from every threat they face.

Your gift will help meet our goal of $500,000 by December 31!

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