The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, a network of students from 22 high school, college, and university campuses and non-student youth from across the state, calls on our U.S. Senators to protect the health and safety of the American people by preventing climate science denialist and fossil fuel industry ally Scott Pruitt from being named the next administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA’s mission is “to ensure all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.” Pruitt’s own Linkedin profile touts himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” His appointment has led to public outcry, with several prominent environmental leaders, including the heads of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Sustainable Business Council, and the World Resources Institute, issuing public statements denouncing the appointment, according to Newsweek.
Pruitt wrote in the National Review, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” Human emissions of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels are destabilizing the global climate. This is fact. There is no legitimate debate. See the Weather Channel’s Kait Parker take on the Breitbart website for trying to mislead people on climate change. Appointing someone who actively misleads the public by denying scientific facts is an unethical and catastrophic decision.
The youth of this world will bear the disastrous consequences of such an appointment. It is our clean water, clean air, clean soil, and lives at stake. And we are running out of time to address anthropogenic climate change. We need strong leadership in the EPA that is interested in protecting public health and safety by working to mitigate the impacts of climate change and regulating polluting industries, not dismantling established protections for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.
The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is committed to helping create a clean and safe future for Kentuckians that supports a just economic transition and protects our workers and our environment. We do this by pushing our high schools and universities to be environmentally responsible through investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable local food economies. We also aim to pass legislation to promote green job creation in KY, protect our natural resources, and oppose false solutions. We know that a bright future for young Kentuckians is one where we are able to stay and prosper after graduation, enjoy the natural wonder of our countryside and mountains, and instill strong values of compassion and environmental stewardship.