The following letter was approved by the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Board of Directors and sent to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.
December 16, 2016
The Honorable Richard Blumenthal
706 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
The Connecticut Audubon Society opposes the nomination of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We urge you, as our United States Senator, to oppose the nomination during hearings and to work to ensure that the EPA is led by a public servant who takes seriously the threat of climate change.
Founded in 1898, the Connecticut Audubon Society is the state’s original, independent Audubon, with more than 13,000 members statewide. Our mission, in a phrase, is to conserve the state’s birds and their habitats. Far and away the most consequential and imminent threat is climate change.
For the last 11 years, the organization has published an annual assessment called Connecticut State of the Birds, written by state and regional experts in ornithology and conservation, and edited by Connecticut Audubon.
The 2016 report, titled “Gains, Losses and the Prospect of Extinction,” released in November, came to the stunning conclusion that sea level rise caused by climate change will lead to the extinction of one Connecticut species, the Saltmarsh Sparrow, within just 50 years. Other species, such as Clapper Rail and Seaside Sparrow are at lesser but still significant risk as well.
While there are important climate change roles for conservation organizations, states, local governments, and business, it is essential that the United States government and the U.S. EPA in particular show strong leadership on the issue. It is simply unacceptable to have as an EPA administrator a man who believes that climate change science is unsettled and who has worked to overturn the U.S. government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Connecticut has long been a national leader in environmental causes and conservation. The current EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, has been exemplary in the role. The disparity between her philosophy and achievements, and those of Mr. Pruitt, are too great to let Mr. Pruitt’s nomination succeed.
Chairman of the Board