President-elect Donald Trump is getting flack for his choice of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Christine Todd Whitman, EPA chief under former Republican President George W. Bush, has added her voice to those opposed to the Pruitt appointment.
“I don’t recall ever having seen an appointment of someone who is so disdainful of the agency and the science behind what the agency does,” Whitman told Grist. “It doesn’t put us in a good place, in my mind. And he’s going to have trouble within the agency if he does convey that kind of disdain to the career staff.”
According to The Independent, Pruitt, the former Attorney General of Oklahoma, feels that climate change and the science surrounding it is “subject to considerable debate.”
“If a person jumped off a building because he said gravitation is only a theory, one would say he is delusional,” said Dr. Rush Holt, the chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “So too, any policy maker who would base national policy on denial of climate science because there is ‘debate’ would be called dangerously irresponsible.”
"Pruitt is a pure product of the oil and gas industry, installed in successive government posts to sell out his constituents at every turn," Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said. "He will push this country far behind the rest of the world in the race for 21st century clean energy. With Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, the people and the environment will be in the hands of a man who cares about neither."
“He obviously doesn’t care much for the agency or any of the regulations it has promulgated,” Whitman added of Pruitt, notes Grist. “He doesn’t believe in climate change; he wants to roll back the Clean Power Plan. … I worry about people retiring and losing institutional knowledge. They can slow things down, but he could too, and put a hard stop to regulations.”