More than 100 Ohioans gathered in Columbus today to voice their opposition to Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator. A panel of speakers thanked U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown for fighting against Pruitt’s appointment and urged Senator Rob Portman to follow suit.
Heather Taylor-Miesle, the Ohio Environmental Council’s executive director, pointed out the many conflicts of interest that make Pruitt unfit to head the EPA.
“Scott Pruitt refuses to say whether he even supports the mission of the EPA,” she said. “He has sued the agency countless times and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from big polluters. I can’t think of a more unqualified candidate.”
Others voiced how important and direct the role of the EPA is to Ohioans’ daily lives.
“I am a registered nurse, and my nursing specialty area is public health,” said Rosemary Chaudry. “Environmental issues are important to me because as a nurse I know that the health of our families and communities is highly dependent on the kind of environment that we have.”
“My county is considered a ‘sacrifice zone’ for the oil and gas industry,” said Jill Hunkler, environmental outreach coordinator for the Olney Friends School. “The effects of irresponsible drilling are everywhere you look in Belmont county and the health impacts are real and dire. I thank Senator Brown for standing up for us.”
Pruitt’s appointment is highly controversial and has garnered nationwide opposition from public health professionals, environmentalists, and scientists. Pruitt’s confirmation vote is expected to happen today.