10 Ways Dangerous EPA Leadership Puts Our Planet at Risk

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, poses a serious threat to the environment and public health.

It’s really very simple: Instead of ensuring that the EPA accomplishes its mission — namely, protecting the environment – Pruitt has chosen to defend the very people responsible for polluting the Earth. 

Apparently Pruitt wants to turn back the clock to before 1970, when President Richard Nixon created the EPA

Here are ten ways EPA leadership under the Trump administration is ruthlessly putting our planet at risk.

1. Slashing the budget

Pruitt and Trump planned a reckless attack on environmental protections by proposing to cut the EPA’s budget by 25 percent for the current year. Thankfully, in the final spending bill that emerged from Congress last month, the EPA received a $763 million increase, instead of a cut.

But guess what? Still determined to wreak havoc on our environment, the evil pair are back, asking for a 23 percent cut for the 2019 fiscal year.

2. Bringing in fossil fuel advocates

During Pruitt’s first year in office, over 700 EPA employees either quit or took early retirement. Even worse, Pruitt has either not tried to replace them or he has brought in representatives of the big polluters. Here’s a sampling, as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) reports:

Bill Wehrum, a Washington attorney who has represented fossil fuel and chemical companies, now heads the clean air and radiation office.

Nancy Beck, who oversees chemical safety and pollution prevention, spent the previous five years as an executive with the American Chemistry Council, the industry’s lobbying unit.

Erik Baptist, former senior counsel at the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s lobbying association, is now senior deputy general counsel for the EPA.

3. Denying climate change

Pruitt has ensured that the phrase “climate change” does not appear on the EPA’s website. He was also behind Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change — even while every other country in the world has signed on and committed to pursuing cleaner, more sustainable energy sources.

Now Pruitt has taken a weird turn by suggesting that everything might be just fine, even if the planet is warming. If you had any doubt, climate change is decidedly not fine: The World Health Organization estimates that 250,000 people will die each year between 2030 and 2050 from related effects.

4. Repealing the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan, created under President Obama, was intended to cut carbon emissions at their largest source: dirty power plants. These facilities are responsible for around 40 percent of the total U.S. carbon footprint.

The goal was to reduce emissions by 32 percent by 2030, with each state having options as to how best to proceed. But Pruitt is working to get eliminate this plan, so that his cronies in the fossil fuel industry can keep lining their deep pockets. 

5. Endangering child health

Rejecting his own agency’s scientific recommendations, Pruitt continued to approve the use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos on crops last year. This chemical has been linked to an increased risk of behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children — and, as Care2 reported here, several farm workers fell ill after inhaling this toxic substance. 

6. Continuing to endanger public health

Among many more examples of evil Pruitt behavior, this one stands out: The EPA administrator has refused to enforce a proposed ban on methylene chloride, a lethal solvent found in paint strippers that has been linked to around 60 deaths.  

7. Abandoning important research

Earlier this year, we learned that the EPA plans to eliminate its National Center for Environmental Research, which funds research into the effects of chemical exposure on both adults and children.

“These programs have been so successful in advancing our scientific understanding and our ability to address the ways that environmental chemicals can impact children’s health,” said Tracey Woodruff, a former senior scientist and policy adviser at the EPA under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

But hey, it’s only children’s health that’s at stake, right?

8. Rolling back gas mileage standards.

In 2012 the Obama administration proposed rules that would nearly double the gas mileage we get from our cars  by 2025. But Pruitt is working to abandon those rules.

He stated:

These standards are costly for automakers and the American people. We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic.

Never mind the 300,000 jobs where people are working to make cleaner cars that are more efficient.

9. Ensuring dirty water

Pruitt is also working to repeal — or at least weaken – the Clean Water Rule. Doing so could mean that one in three Americans lose access to clean drinking water. Once again, the EPA boss is pandering to the fossil fuel industry and Big Ag while putting vulnerable ecosystems and communities at risk. As John Rumpler, senior attorney with Environment America, said, “Repealing the Clean Water Rule turns the mission of the EPA on its head.”

And that’s clearly what Pruitt aims to do.

10. Allowing power companies to pollute

Last year Pruitt placed an indefinite hold on safeguards established in 2015 to limit water pollution from electric power plants. So now these companies can continue to discharge any amount of toxic pollutants — such as lead, mercury and arsenic — into waterways, risking both food and drinking water supplies. 

Scott Pruitt’s dangerous policy decisions are putting the Earth at risk. It’s pretty clear that on any environmental issue, if the Obama administration took action to improve the planet and public health, Pruitt will either delay, weaken or eliminate those safeguards.

Take Action!

Scott Pruitt has got to go. If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thanks for posting.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

implement the COP 21 treaty now

Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

I think we can all agree

Lesa D
Past Member 10 months ago

#1362 petition signed...

Lesa D
Past Member 10 months ago

thank you Judy...

Chrissie R
Chrissie R10 months ago

Thanks for posting your opinions.

Margie FOURIE11 months ago


Marty P
Marty Price11 months ago

He's just like every other Republican appointed to run Government agencies and the President that's responsible...CRIMINALLY INSANE!