American Jewish World Service Responds to Scott Pruitt’s Nomination as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Leading international Jewish organization demands that U.S. environmental policy focus on reversing climate change by cutting U.S. emissions and maintaining its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

NEW YORK, NY – In response to President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nomination today of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Robert Bank, the President and CEO of the leading global Jewish organization advocating for the rights of people who are experiencing the negative effects of climate change, released the following statement.

“In light of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, an opponent of U.S. policy to cut U.S. emissions, to serve as the next Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we are gravely concerned that, if approved, Administrator-designate Pruitt will undermine U.S. efforts to cut U.S. emissions, reverse climate change and protect the earth and all of its inhabitants from the ravages of global warming,” said Bank.

“As a Jewish organization whose mission is rooted in the belief that we must care for the earth, its environment and all who inhabit it, we work with 180 indigenous communities in 13 countries worldwide who are doubly affected by the storms, droughts and other effects of climate change. At the very same time, they are engaged in struggles to protect their rights to land, water and forests in the face of non-consultative and exploitative development projects designed to drill oil and mine coal, among others.

“To improve this situation, the next EPA Administrator must continue efforts to cut U.S. emissions, as we are one of the biggest polluters in the world and contribute disproportionately to the suffering of people everywhere—and especially in poor communities in the developing world. We fear that Pruitt will do the exact opposite of what the world needs.

“Given Scott Pruitt’s record battling efforts to curtail U.S. emissions and his questioning of climate science, we are concerned that he will increase U.S. emissions and exacerbate the negative effects of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable communities worldwide—often indigenous communities in developing countries.

“While the United States Senate fulfills its constitutional duty to review and vote on the President-elect’s nominee to serve as Administrator of the EPA, we urge members of the Senate who are committed to reducing U.S. emissions and reversing climate change to press the Administrator-designate on his record of undermining efforts to reduce emissions and reverse climate change.

“The United States must honor and defend its commitments to respond to the challenges of climate change by cutting U.S. emissions. By doing this, the U.S. helps alleviate the burden on people in poor countries who are most vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change.

“As Jews, we believe that our earth, its inhabitants and the universe are part of a whole, and we serve as stewards of each for generations to come. We take this responsibility very seriously, and we expect our leaders to do the same.”


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