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Lives are at stake when funding for the EPA is up for debate.

We need an EPA director who protects our health not industry interests

Posted by Kathy Attar, MPH on January 26, 2017

Scott Pruitt's nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts our country's health at risk. He has made his career out of blocking public health protections and doubting the authority of the Clean Air Act.

In 2011, Pruitt filed suit — along with Murray Energy, Peabody Energy, and Southern Power Company — against the EPA challenging the agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. That safeguard, adopted in 2011, limits emissions from coal- and oil-burning power plants, pollution that drifts into other states in the form of soot and ozone-- sometimes known as smog.

Because smog and soot cause illnesses and sometimes even death, reducing emissions can amount to between $120 and $280 billion in health savings annually. Due to reductions in asthma cases, missed days of work and school, fatal heart attacks and premature deaths.

Pruitt lost his suit in 2014, but as leader of the EPA, he would be in a position to weaken this rule along with other clean air protections. Safeguards that save money and improve our health and welfare.

All communities deserve to breathe clean air. We need an EPA director who will put public health over profit, not someone who will manipulate the system to benefit polluters.

Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) of your local newspaper expressing your concern with Scott Pruitt. Tips on writing an LTE here.

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