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Clean-Air Advocates Oppose Trump's Pick to Head EPA

The Clean Air Act has reduced pollution, but advocates say more needs to be done. (Dick Swanson, NARA/Wikimedia Commons)
The Clean Air Act has reduced pollution, but advocates say more needs to be done. (Dick Swanson, NARA/Wikimedia Commons)
January 10, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A group of clean-air advocates is running a series of television ads in seven states opposing president-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the EPA. Clean Air Moms Action says Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has a long history of opposing clean air and water standards that protect American families from dangerous pollutants.

Gretchen Dahlkemper, director of the group, points out that Pruitt has sued the EPA multiple times, challenging the Clean Power Plan, regulations to reduce methane emissions and more.

"These include standards for reducing soot and smog pollution," she said. "This includes trying to repeal protections against emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gasses and other toxic pollutants from power plants."

Pruitt's supporters say he would continue to protect clean air and water while rolling back unnecessary regulations that hamper business and cost jobs.

But Dahlkemper maintains that the regulations he has been challenging still are necessary. She notes that in Pennsylvania alone last year, more than 80 waterways had advisories against eating fish caught there because of high levels of mercury.

"We need to continue to address these issues," continued. "Childhood asthma is on the rise. We need to address smog and ground-level ozone that impacts the most vulnerable lungs of our small children here in Pennsylvania."

As of Monday, the Senate had not set a date for Pruitt's confirmation hearing.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA