We, Christians and Jews alike, take from our scripture and faith traditions such values as inclusivity, social justice, and ecological stewardship. Given those values, multiple proposed appointments to the incoming Presidential leadership team have raised grave concerns for our communities. Among these, the recent nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator stands out.
President-elect Trump stated his intention to protect clean air and clean water. Pruitt, as Oklahoma Attorney General, had ample opportunity to do just that – but instead, he brought multiple lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency to counter precisely those measures that would safeguard our land and water. He has also falsely characterized EPA protection of endangered and threatened species as motivated by an agenda to block fossil fuel production. Pruitt has repeatedly, and publicly, spread mis-information that climate science is uncertain.
Casting doubt on climate science, as well as downplaying the moral imperative to safeguard our climate and environment, imperils public health, our coastlines, economic well-being, the interdependent web of creation, and even our own grandchildren.
Any public policy should be motivated by care for the most vulnerable, and for future generations. Public servants are responsible for considering multiple stakeholder points of view, and cannot be beholden to external financial interests when making choices that impact the common good. It is public information that Pruitt has not only accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from coal and oil companies, but has looked to them in setting policy. It is utterly inconsistent with the Jewish and Christian faith traditions for a public servant to behave in a manner that prioritizes the next quarterly profit report, with little concern for social responsibility or long-term impacts. Given Pruitt’s professional history, we are strongly concerned about the values and agenda he could bring to the Environmental Protection Agency.
We urge all our constituents and agencies, and all people of faith and conscience, to call on the U.S. Senate to carefully investigate, thoroughly question, and consider rejection of the appointment of such an extreme figure to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
We call on the Trump Administration to listen to established science on climate and species protection, and listen too to voices of faith, with our concern for future generations. We call on all people, irrespective of how they voted, to join us in our efforts to protect God’s good Creation – and at the same time, to protect the beauty and wonder of nature for all our descendants, in this nation and throughout the entire world.
Creation Justice Ministries is an ecumenical organization representing the creation care policies of 38 Christian denominations, including Mainline Protestant, Historically Black Church, Orthodox Christian, Baptist, and Peace traditions. Learn more at www.creationjustice.org
The Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life is an initiative of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the Jewish partner to the National Religious Partnership on the Environment. The JCPA is the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community and serves as the advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local Jewish community relations organizations. Learn more at www.coejl.org
Creation Justice Ministries and the Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life are partners in the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Learn more at www.nrpe.org
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California Bishops Send Letter of Concern to Trump
Catholic and Evangelical Leaders call for rejection of Pruitt nomination on "pro-life" grounds
Evangelical Leaders Appeal to Donald Trump to Reconsider Scott Pruitt for EPA Pick