Taking Pruitt’s EPA to Court

23rd of Feb 2017

By Staff Attorney Bryan Hurlbutt
February 23, 2017

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, made his first remarks to EPA employees on Tuesday. True to form, Pruitt warned employees to “avoid” regulatory “abuses” – confirming our fears that Pruitt is more interested in undermining the EPA than leading it.

Described as an “anti-environment warrior” and “climate change denier”, Pruitt faced strong opposition during the confirmation process but was eventually confirmed to take the helm of an agency he often sued — siding with the fossil fuel industry — during his tenure as Oklahoma’s Attorney General.

Contrary to Pruitt’s claims of EPA overreach, the agency often fails to carry out its basic duties. Many of our bedrock environmental laws, like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, direct EPA to implement those laws through specific actions. But due to political and industry pressure and inadequate funding, EPA regularly drags its feet.

Advocates for the West has a long, successful track record taking legal action to push EPA to do its job and protect the environment in Idaho. While Pruitt will try to roll back important EPA work, the agency is bound by law. Advocates for the West and our partners are watching Pruitt’s EPA, and we are ready to go to court.

Today, we filed the nation’s first lawsuit against EPA Administrator Pruitt for failing to create a pollution budget to protect Columbia and Snake River salmon and steelhead from lethal warm water caused by dams and climate change.

You can read more about Columbia Riverkeeper v. Pruitt here. Stay tuned for more updates on this important case!