by Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner
Scandals have plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt since he first took office in 2017. From first class travel to huge raises for his closest aides, Pruitt has abused his position and wasted our tax dollars enriching himself, his family and his friends.
As Pruitt’s scandals have grown, so has Friends of the Earth’s activism. With each new ethical lapse, we have been pushing the envelope in the streets, in Congressional hearings, and in the press — calling for Pruitt to be fired.
Scott Pruitt’s sweetheart rental deal from the wife of an energy lobbyist was the perfect opportunity to call him out for his corrupt behavior. We created a fake rental ad poster, advertising a Capitol Hill condo for $50 a night: “live luxuriously for cheap — just like Scott.” The poster was spotted all over town by journalists and quickly spread on Twitter. Thousands of activists volunteered to help #FirePruitt by plastering their communities with the same poster, and soon they were spotted in Texas, New York, and California. In Pruitt’s appearance before Congress later that month lawmakers grilled him on his shady condo deal and other scandals.
In the weeks following, story after story broke about Pruitt’s ethical lapses. With each new revelation, more and more lawmakers, including some Republicans, called for Pruitt to be fired or resign. In mid-May, over 8,000 members of Friends of the Earth joined a national day of action calling for Congress to fire Pruitt by introducing articles of impeachment against him. Together with dozens of community groups and partners, we delivered over 300,000 signatures to congressional offices across the country demanding that Pruitt be fired
While these signatures were being delivered, Pruitt was testifying before the Senate. We took advantage of the mounting pressure on Pruitt and made sure that lawmakers knew that the only thing for Congress to do with someone as corrupt as Pruitt is impeach him.
The news for Pruitt keeps on getting worse — and this week was especially bad. The latest story that Pruitt scored his wife a cushy job at a conservative think tank follows weeks of bizarre scandals involving everything from hand lotion and basketball tickets to used mattresses and Chick Fil A.
Even Republicans are starting to lose patience. Prominent conservative media voices are calling for his ouster, his home state Senator and friend James Inhofe could join them soon, and a group associated with the Koch Brothers is buying ads calling for Trump fire him.
But in the meantime, Pruitt still has a job, and that means our work must continue. Even after months of scandal, most members of Congress have said nothing at all about Pruitt. Can you call your representative NOW and demand that they fire him?