Opinion: Commentary: ‘Finally’

Opinion: Commentary: ‘Finally’

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer issued the following statement July 5 on the departure of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.


Scott Pruitt was able to keep his position for so long — despite astonishing megalomania and unethical behavior — only because of Donald Trump’s historic embrace of corruption. Pruitt acknowledged behavior in Congressional hearings and televised interviews that violated federal regulations and spoke to extreme levels of wasteful spending and abuse of public office. He committed dozens of offenses which would have led to immediate dismissal in any previous administration.

Pruitt now joins the growing ranks of ex-Trump officials, a testament to President Trump’s chaotic management style and poor judgment. Sadly, some of those who remain may be nearly as corrupt, as antithetical to the purposes of the agencies they lead, and as willing to besmirch their public offices with dishonest and unethical behavior.

Scott Pruitt stood out, even in Donald Trump’s uniquely corrupt administration, for his willingness to cede direct influence and control over EPA policy to industries and special interests which harm public health. His scandals were inextricably linked to his antipathy to environmental protection, and to his close association with those who value profit over clean air and water.

The only way to really turn the page on the Pruitt era will be for Trump to appoint an EPA Administrator who is committed to environmental stewardship, and willing to clean house and wrest control of the EPA back from polluters and lobbyists.

Representative Beyer was the first Member of Congress to issue a formal statement calling for Scott Pruitt’s resignation. He led 64 House Democrats urging the President to dismiss Pruitt, and has led numerous oversight initiatives focused on Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA. He serves as the vice ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and the ranking member of its Subcommittee on Oversight, and as co-chair of the Congressional Safe Climate Caucus.