We called, we protested, we made our voices heard. In spite of all our work, Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as EPA Administrator. In the face of this setback it is easy to lose heart. But it’s also important to remember that every time you call a member of Congress or write a letter you are adding your position to the public record. Our elected officials do listen, even if they don’t always agree. And in time, our actions will have an impact.
Also, know that the fight against climate change continues unabated. Here are a few things to keep in mind going forward.
Scott Pruitt’s emails WILL come out this Tuesday. He spent TWO YEARS refusing to release his communications with oil, gas, and coal companies to the public. EPA Administrator or not, he has to do it now. When they do come out, we MUST hold him accountable for the contents. If the saga with Michael Flynn has shown anything, it’s that even in the era of Donald Trump, there is at least a modicum of government accountability. If these emails are incriminating, Pruitt may have to resign but only if we demand it. Make sure to keep an eye out and make your voice heard.
Confirmation was merely the first step in the quest to dismantle the EPA from the inside out. Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump will now have to implement these plans. Some may find popular support, but others, perhaps the most important ones, will thrive only the darkness, when the public is otherwise engaged and distracted. We MUST ensure that this is not allowed to happen. We MUST continue to stay informed of the goings on at the EPA. We MUST demand Scott Pruitt continue to stay true to the organization’s mission: to protect human health and the environment. This includes continuing to focus on and address one of the greatest threats to both, climate change.
A number of Pruitt’s supporters argue the EPA has overreached, that implementing and enforcing these regulations that ensure clean air, clean water, and fight climate change is a task best left to the states. They are wrong, but they are also right. The states DO have a role to play in fighting climate change and it is now more important than ever. Get involved in your communities. Call your local officials, vote in the local primaries and elections, run for something yourself. Organize and implement renewable projects right where you live. MAKE climate change the issue it is. There is much still that can be done.
We may have lost this battle, but there will be future victories. The fight against climate change is far from over. The future is in your hands.