“We urge Susan Collins to join with Senator King in what is a matter of good conscious not to support Scott Pruitt for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Pete Didisheim, of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, at a press conference this morning at the Portland Public Library. This morning Senator Angus King (I) announced that he will not support the nomination of Pruitt.
“Maine needs an EPA administrator who cares about health issues and protection of the environment. He is hostile to the EPA,” said Didisheim. Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA to block clean air and clean water standards that protect the health of Maine people; he denies the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and driven by human-made air pollution, he has worked to prevent the EPA from stopping mercury pollution that comes to Maine from power plants in upwind states and he has received more than $300,000 in dirty fossil fuel industry donations and is indebted to their interests according to Didisheim.
Senators Collins and King have been outstanding in recognizing that upwind polluters threaten the lives of Maine especially children and the elderly and those with asthma and respiratory difficulties according to a letter sent to Senator Collins. Safeguards against these health conditions have been challenged by Oklahoma’s Attorney General Scott Pruitt over and over.
“There are 600 coal fired power plants in the mid-west. The smoke stacks are tall. That means that the pollution floats up to Maine. We are the exhaust pipe for smoke stacks in the mid-west,” said Tony Owens, MD, of the Maine Medical Center Emergency Room. “I would ask Mr. Pruitt to fly here the next time we have a bad air day and hold a face mask on the faces of children and elderly who need them.”
Bill Mook, owner of Mook Sea Farm, Inc., said he had voted for Senator Collins in the past. But if she votes to support Scott Pruitt’s nomination for EPA Administrator, he will not vote for her again and will actively work against her next election.
John Chandler, who spent forty years with the EPA, said that Maine has one of the worst asthma problems in the United States. “We are being hit by multiple sources from out-of-state. We can’t control it. Maine needs a strong EPA administrator. Not Scott Pruitt.”
If you want to call Senator Collins’ office to urge her to vote against Scott Pruitt, her Portland number is: 207 – 780-3575.
(Editor’s Note: Quoting from the same New York Times article: “The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases…………T.emperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.”)