A Response from Senator Murray on Scott Pruitt & the Trump EPA

From Senator Patty Murray in response to a note I sent her asking that Dems do more about Pruitt and Trump’s version of the EPA. I assume this is a form letter about Pruitt but it does address most of what I raised with her.

Dear Mr. Shirley:
Thank you for writing to me regarding oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I appreciate hearing from you. Since his confirmation, Administrator Scott Pruitt has been singularly focused on undermining the core mission of the EPA. The Administration has taken steps to roll back the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule, which effectively denies the consensus that climate change is a real and present danger and in turn makes communities in Washington state and across the country more vulnerable to environmental harm than ever before. While deeply disappointed, I am ultimately not surprised that this Administration is doing exactly what we feared—taking one action after another to diminish critical environmental protections and undercut progress, jeopardizing our most valuable natural resources for future generations.

To make matters worse, the Administration has installed reckless and unqualified individuals to lead key EPA offices charged with keeping our air and water clean and safe. Despite the President’s promise to “drain the swamp,” Administration officials have slowed the enforcement of toxic chemical regulations and the oversight of hazardous materials usage in favor of prioritizing the demands of coal and chemical company executives. Further, I remain troubled by allegations of waste and misuse of taxpayer funds within EPA, including reports of Administrator Pruitt racking up high-cost travel expenses, directing the installation of an unprecedented customized communication booth for personal use, and employing a partisan opposition research organization to monitor press activity.

Rest assured that I will keep working with my colleagues to provide the congressional oversight of the EPA that is so critical, including standing firmly against irresponsible and shortsighted cuts to the agency’s budget. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to not be distracted by the tweets and sideshows and to pushback against the Trump Administration’s all-out assault against our environment. I am committed to continuing our efforts to restore Puget Sound, protecting bedrock environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, and rejecting unqualified nominees for critical posts at the EPA and across the government.

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