Carper Statement on Scott Pruitt’s Resignation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement regarding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s long overdue resignation:

“This was a pitch well telegraphed. The resignation of Scott Pruitt – whose tenure at EPA has been marked by blatant rejections of sound science, proposals to undermine our country’s bedrock environmental protections and consistent efforts to personally profit off of public service – is long overdue.

“Since he was nominated for this position, I have made clear that Mr. Pruitt’s long record made him the wrong person to lead the agency. For seventeen months now, we have had an individual leading the Environmental Protection Agency who is openly hostile to the agency’s fundamental mission  – a self-described leading advocate against EPA’s ‘activist agenda’ who has made a mockery of the position of administrator. Time and time again, Mr. Pruitt has pushed policies that jeopardized public health in order to score political points. He has advocated for industry instead of the American people. He has actively worked to discredit objective science, ignore the most serious environmental threats to our communities and consistently put polluters’ profits and partisan views over public health.

“I knew that Mr. Pruitt and I would seriously disagree when it came to policy. That was no surprise. But Mr. Pruitt’s brazen abuse of his position for his own personal gain has been absolutely astounding, rivaled only by the silence of far too many in Congress and in the White House who allowed Mr. Pruitt’s unethical, and, at times, possibly illegal behavior to go unchecked. History will not look kindly on this era: neither on Mr. Pruitt’s entirely irresponsible tenure nor on Congress’ abdication of its constitutional responsibilities all in order to protect political allies. 

“Let me be perfectly clear – the EPA’s agenda is to protect public health and the environment we all share. Mr. Pruitt’s tenure there has been a stain on a critical agency on which every American relies to make sure the air our families breathe is clean, the water we drink is safe and the products we use are free of toxins. Mr. Pruitt was always the wrong man to lead the EPA. It is truly a shame that he was allowed to remain in this office as long as he did. He has made this critical agency a punchline. Hopefully, with Mr. Pruitt’s resignation, we can finally return to more responsible leadership at EPA and an agency that can get back to doing its important work of protecting the American people, rather than the highest bidder. I look forward to meeting with Mr. Wheeler to understand how he intends to get to work immediately to restore the public’s trust in the Environmental Protection Agency.”