Menu close
February 17, 2017

Where does your water come from? And how do you know it’s safe to drink?

These are questions Americans have been asking since disturbing images of disgusting brown, contaminated water made national news during the Flint water crisis. More than four years after problems began – and just over a year after a state of emergency was declared, Flint’s water challenges still haven’t been fully addressed, and much more work is needed.

But what we also have to think about more broadly is, how do we stop the next Flint?

We may have stopped taking clean water for granted, but how do we make sure it stays clean? When clean water comes out of our taps, it’s not an accident. And it’s also not an accident when our kids get lead poisoning from drinking tap water. It’s all a result of the choices we make.

The future of our clean water is something we must think about in light of Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pruitt has made a name for himself suing the Agency he now looks set to lead. He sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan and regulations meant to prevent mercury pollution and the buildup of harmful polluting gases. He even sued the EPA to prevent them from settling cases with groups like the Sierra Club that occasionally sue the Agency to make sure it follows the law.

His political career has been funded by big oil execs and their board members. And of course, they can’t wait to have him heading up the agency that regulates them!

The future of our clean water is something we must think about in light of Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA.

Tweet: The future of our clean water is something we must think about in light of Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA

When it comes to protection of the environment, the Trump Administration has set the bar at a record low. Any nominee that acknowledges climate change isn’t a Chinese hoax is already a huge improvement on their boss. But make no mistake, Scott Pruitt will be a disaster for the climate.

He is a climate denier of the most insidious sort, arguing that the science on climate change being caused by human activity is “far from settled.”

That is a lie. The science is settled.

He refuses to acknowledge the truth, because to do so would be to admit that the companies that funded his career are racing us down the road towards a climate disaster.

Ambitious action is urgently needed right now from all countries, especially from countries like the United States that have high emissions both now and historically, if we are to have a hope of meeting the 1.5 degree goal set by the Paris Agreement last December. Having a climate denier as head of the EPA is a disaster.

Pruitt is said to be different from his boss. It’s said he’ll use a “scalpel” rather than a “cleaver” when he comes into the EPA. But this should come as no comfort to you.

He has a clear record of opposing environmental regulations and supporting his political benefactors in dirty energy companies.

As the head of EPA, he can be expected to roll back crucial environmental and climate protections, gutting the EPA from within.

It may not be as sexy as Trump’s 3 AM tweets or his dramatic Executive Orders, but it will have the same, or possibly greater, impact.

When these lax environmental standards result in human and environmental tragedy, it will not be an accident, but the consequence of choices that were made. Our choice is what we do now.

ActionAid will continue to resist this assault on environmental protections. We pledge to stand with Water Protectors in places like Standing Rock and with climate activists in the United States and around the world.

Our right to enjoy a clean environment must be respected, and not sold off to the highest bidder.