At a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on his denial of climate change and his weakening of environmental standards.
After chronicling Pruitt’s rolling back the EPA’s efforts to curb climate change—and his suggestion that climate change could benefit the country—Pingree read two letters written by young students in her District. The constituents were concerned that the fishing communities they have grown up in would be unalterably changed by warming waters, rising sea levels, and a shift in lobster habitat.
“That might be through the eyes of children, but if you’re not going to listen to scientists, who are you going to listen to?” Pingree asked. “This is what’s going on in my state. How do I go home and tell them the Administrator of the EPA doesn’t want to put resources in this [climate change], doesn’t actually believe in it, and said, ‘Oh, maybe we’re getting some benefit out of this.’ How do you defend that?”
In a later round of questioning, Pingree asked Pruitt why he has pushed the reduction of fuel efficiency standards for auto manufacturers.
“I come from the State of Maine—we’re at the end of the tailpipe. We get the bad air. We have high rates of childhood asthma. We have red air alert days for a state that you’d think of as pristine and clean,” Pingree said. “So I have no idea why you’d want to roll back emissions standards on vehicles. … It seems to me that, just like climate change, on this one you don’t have our best interests at heart, that you’re not on our side.”
Pingree is part of a bipartisan group of 140 Representatives and 39 Senators who’ve signed on to a resolution calling for Pruitt to resign. Read the resolution here
Pingree also penned a letter to President Trump demanding that Pruitt be fired for his gross misuse of taxpayer money, improper connections to interests before his agency, and for being unqualified for the job he presently holds. Read the letter here.