In the coming days, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to roll back commonsense clean car standards that will hurt American families—forcing them to spend more money at the gas pump, boosting oil consumption, and increasing air pollution. “The result will be more gas-guzzling vehicles on the road, greater total gasoline consumption, and a significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions,” said Harvard’s environmental economics program Director Robert Stavins. Once again, Pruitt is choosing to disregard science and the facts in favor of industry, siding with auto executives and their lobbyists who see a golden opportunity to achieve weaker standards that bolster their bottom line. Pruitt is expected to formally announce this proposal next Tuesday at an auto dealership in Virginia’s suburbs.
The news of Pruitt’s latest regulatory rollback with consequences for public health comes amidst allegations of additional potential ethics violations by Pruitt. Yesterday, it was reported that the EPA Administrator has been spending his DC nights in a condo co-owned by the wife of a lobbyist for the energy industry. Pruitt was paying $50 a night for a single bedroom in an upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, but only on the nights when he actually slept there. The co-owner’s husband, lobbyist J. Steven Hart, represents clients in industries regulated by the EPA, including Cheniere Energy Inc., owner of the country’s first liquefied natural gas export plant, as well as—coincidentally—the American Automotive Policy Council.
The clean car standards rollback and questionable ethics actions all come just days after CAP Action partnered with other national organizations to launch the Boot Pruitt campaign, declaring him unfit for public office. The fact that just this week, he’s gutting critical clean car standards while mingling his home life with energy lobbyists shows that enough is enough: it’s time to Boot Pruitt. Add your voice to call for Pruitt’s resignation.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#BootPruitt. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has found himself in another scandal—this time, for living with a lobbyist husband and wife in Capitol Hill for only $50 per night. It’s clear: Pruitt is putting our environment at risk, as well as the safety and health of our communities. Sign the petition today, and tell Pruitt that it’s time to resign.
People Power. Fox News host Laura Ingraham is feeling the impact of a tweet she wrote mocking Parkland student David Hogg, one of the leading young activists of the #NeverAgain movement. In response to Ingraham’s distasteful tweet about his rejection from four colleges, Hogg responded with a different sentiment, calling on his followers to boycott companies that advertise on Ingraham’s show. Unsurprisingly – and reminiscent of the public demand to boycott companies with ties to the NRA – pressure from the public is working; multiple large corporations have announced they will be pulling their ads from Ingraham’s primetime show.
Failure to Report. A new civil suit against the Department of Defense indicates that the military is not fulfilling its duties to report people to the FBI who shouldn’t gain access to guns. The civil suit alleges that at least 15,000 people who shouldn’t be able to legally purchase a gun slipped through the cracks, thanks to the faulty reporting. But, “that number could be even larger, experts say, because it may exclude some domestic violence cases that military and civilian courts prosecute differently.” One of those people was the shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas, whose background of domestic violence should have stopped him from gaining access to dangerous weapons. Unfortunately, the Air Force never flagged him as a threat to the FBI. These failures by the military put the American people at risk of even more gun violence.
Roseanne Goes Red. This week, on the latest episode of Off-Kilter, Rebecca talks with Corrine Yu, managing policy director at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, about what’s at stake in the Trump administration’s decision to ask about U.S. citizenship in the 2020 Census. Next, Talk Poverty’s Mara Pellittieri breaks down the good, bad, and ugly in the Roseanne reboot. But first, Jeremy Slevin joins Rebecca for another edition of In Case You Missed It and explains how Tennessee Republicans want to rob Peter to rob Paul.
Can I Get a Hallelujah? If you are keeping up with the saga of horrific bills in the Georgia state legislature, we have some good news for you. Early this morning, the legislative session ended, leaving SB 363 without a vote. This thwarted conservative efforts to dismantle Sunday early voting and cut poll time in Atlanta by one hour, measures that are clearly aimed at limiting minority votes in the state. Another bill, SB 452, would have allowed local law enforcement to act as immigration enforcement agents. This, too, was defeated, adding to the wins for minorities in the state of Georgia.