The Senate just voted to confirm Scott Pruitt. That’s right: a man who has made a career of suing and undermining the Environmental Protection Agency will now be leading it.
Make no mistake – Pruitt as EPA Administrator will be a disaster. In previous pieces we’ve chronicled Pruitt’s extensive ties to the oil and gas industry. But Pruitt at EPA means more than just increased drilling and fracking. It will mean more factory farms and pollution in lakes and rivers. It will mean even less scrutiny of Monsanto and Dow’s toxic herbicides (which are already running roughshod through our food system). It will mean more Flint-type drinking water contamination. And it will mean no progress on climate change – after all, Pruitt is a climate denier. Couple that with Trump’s plans to gut EPA funding and enforcement powers and we’re looking at unimagined human and environmental impacts.
We’re ready to stand up to Pruitt for the next four years – and more importantly we’ve got a plan to do it. But we need your help. Will you join us by making a monthly gift to protect communities and the environment from the Trump/Pruitt agenda?
A movement is rising
The unprecedented threat posed by Trump has sparked widespread public backlash against his agenda, and we’ve seen a groundswell of people engaging in the political process for the first time. We’ve seen people inundate Congress with phone calls and pack congressional town hall meetings, and some representatives have resorted to hiding from constituents by not disclosing their public schedules or not having public meetings.
It will take a lot to block the Trump/Pruitt agenda, but in just the last four weeks, we’ve seen that organizing can work.
Facing tremendous public pressure and skepticism from several Republican senators, Labor Department nominee and fast food magnate Andrew Puzder withdrew himself from consideration on Wednesday. Citing the deluge of phone calls her office had received opposing Betsy Devos, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski voted against her nomination. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, facing similar pressure in her home state, opposed both Devos and Pruitt. And Democratic senators have become increasingly tough and unified in voting against Trump’s nominees after hearing from consituents.
We won’t win every battle, but we know that elected officials ultimately are responsive to constituent pressure, and the vast majority of Americans want to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat safe food. We’re going to hold them accountable. That’s how we’ll prevent the destruction of the EPA and our environment under the Trump/Pruitt regime.
Let’s resist – and win – together
Your resistance is critical, and we must be persistent. In order to protect our air, water, communities and the climate on which we all depend, we’ll draw on critical lessons learned from past, winning campaigns. We have a plan to stop the worst of what Trump and Pruitt want to do to the EPA and the environment – but we need your help. Here’s what we need to do together:
We’ll need to expose the truth behind Pruitt’s agenda, making sure the public knows what he’s doing, which corporations are behind his actions, and what it means for your food and water. Food & Water Watch has a top notch research team that is already at work on this, but need support from members like you to build our capacity so we can gather more records, analyze more data, and expose the truth about the Trump/Pruitt agenda. And, of course, we’ll need your help to spread the truth.
We’ll build locally and pressure key decision makers. Our organizers are on the ground in critical states, like New York and Illinois where Senate Democratic leaders are from, and Maine, Colorado, Pennsylvania and others where many of the senators we’ll need to influence to block cuts to the EPA are located. We’ll work with new and existing grassroots partners and engage new activists to make sure these senators see and hear us – at town halls, district offices, speeches and events. We’ll also need to train hundreds of grassroots groups and community members who are getting involved in activism for the first time. We rely on our members to help us mobilize locally and run these trainings, and to come out to events and make sure your senators hear from you.
We’ll put forward a progressive vision for food, water and our climate. It’s not enough to just resist Trump. We must also advocate for the positive changes we want: a ban on fracking, an end to the buildout of destructive oil and gas pipelines, a sustainable food system, 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, and a massive increase in public water infrastructure so everyone can enjoy clean public water. Even if this vision is a long way off, we cannot lose sight of it.
We’ll use every tool in our arsenal, whether it’s submitting public comments to block or delay bad policies, litigating in the courts through our legal arm, Food & Water Justice, or exposing the voting records of members of Congress. We’ll keep you informed about new developments and how you can help. With you at our side, we’ll do everything we can to fight Pruitt’s dangerous actions.
But to do all this, we need you. Those pushing the Trump/Pruitt agenda have massive resources at their disposal. Winning will require persistence for the next four years, as well as resources. We know that people power can defeat larger corporate interests when we band together, because we’ve seen it work before. Will you join with us in this fight by making a monthly gift?
Let’s fight together to defeat the Trump/Pruitt agenda, and for a world with safe food, clean water, and a livable climate for future generations.