Tester voices opposition to EPA nominee Pruitt
February 24, 2017
(U.S. Senate)—U.S. Senator Jon Tester today stood up for Montana's clean air and clean water by opposing EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt.
Tester spoke on the Senate floor prior to the vote and expressed his opposition to Pruitt because of the nominee's history of not holding corporations accountable and failing to protect clean air and water.
"Mr. Pruitt has consistently sided with big polluters over local businesses and local families," Tester said. "I am not convinced that Mr. Pruitt understands the critical role that clean air and clean water play in our agriculture and outdoor economies. In my conversation with him, I received no assurances that he will be a champion for Montana family farmers and ranchers and the folks who love to hike, hunt, and fish in Big Sky Country. Mr. Pruitt has endorsed policies that will put Montana jobs at-risk, and put our outdoor heritage on the ropes."
Tester met with Pruitt last month to share concerns from Montanans, reiterating that families in Butte, Libby, and Columbia Falls are counting on the EPA to uphold its commitment to cleaning up contamination left behind by multi-national corporations.
“I am not convinced that Mr. Pruitt understands the critical role that clean air and clean water play in our agriculture and outdoor economies. ... Mr. Pruitt has endorsed policies that will put Montana jobs at-risk, and put our outdoor heritage on the ropes.” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.
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Tester also pushed Pruitt to support revolving loan funds, which have helped Montana communities replace drinking water infrastructure and restore commercial developments that have been impacted by contamination.
Thousands of Montanans have contacted Tester's office opposing Pruitt's nomination.
While on the Senate floor, Tester read aloud letters and emails from concerned Montanans entering them into the Congressional record.
"Four hundred people died in Libby because W.R. Grace mined for vermiculite that was contaminated with asbestos," wrote Caitlin from Libby. "These people died when they were just doing their job. Libby doesn't want or need another person that looks the other way while big business preys on hard-working people."
"I am a farmer in Montana, and I regularly use pesticides where I hope the EPA has my back to make sure these things are safe for me and the environment," wrote Stephen from Corvallis. "Farming continues to be less predictable, due to a changing climate. I want someone in that position that has my back as a farmer, not someone that questions broad scientific consensus."
"[Mr. Pruitt] is not fit to be leading an agency responsible for protecting wildlife, clean water, clean air, and leading the charge of addressing a changing climate," wrote Rich from Stevensville. "Pruitt is anti-science, routinely disregarding well-established studies involving climate change."
You can watch the Senator's entire floor speech HERE.