Trump EPA Nominee

[Open letter to Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young]

Senator Joe Donnelly &
Senator Todd Young:

I believe President-Elect Donald Trump has made many good choices for nominees for the Cabinet to come. However, I find I have considerable concern over the choice of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

I add that I am a life-long moderate Republican who for several years was the publisher of the Kokomo Tribune before my family sold the newspaper. The political stance of the Tribune going back to times even before when my father, Richard Blacklidge, was publisher was that of moderate Republican. In those days, Republicans and Democrats frequently worked together toward common goals. I hope that time or some resemblance of that will return.

Back to Pruitt…. I am reading that Mr. Pruitt and the EPA are totally incompatible. I am reading that as Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA over several issues and holds what I consider to be a dangerous attitude toward the EPA, an agency first established under a Republican President. Further, I read that Pruitt is in the camp of “climate change deniers”.

The EPA appears to have become bloated and overreaching over the decades and probably needs to be trimmed back here and there. I don’t believe, however, that it needs a leader that basically denies the role the EPA is supposed to carry out. We must have clean air, clean water, and healthy soil. Without those, nothing else will really matter in the long run.

So, it is my hope that you will carefully examine Scott Pruitt to see if he really is the best choice to lead the EPA. My conclusion at this point is that he is not. If you conclude the same, I hope you will oppose his confirmation.

I add that I do not make this request lightly or from an uninformed place. My background includes four academic degrees from Purdue including an Industrial Management degree, one in Conservation of Natural Resources, one in Aquatic Toxicology, and finally a doctorate in genetics. Politically, I am a conservative on most issues. However, I hold the health of the environment in a special place. I believe concern and care for the environment should not and must not be political. Decisions need to be grounded in science and fact, not political nonsense and ignorance. We have a long way to go in this regard.

Thank you for your consideration.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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