I am a geoscientist and clergy-person. I have spent years involved in environmental geochemistry study and research, including into the migration pathways of toxic metals and other pollutants in our groundwater resources. As a faith-leader, I believe that we must be stewards of our natural resources as well as our human communities. Together, science and religion inform my thoughtful and reasonable personal and political actions to care for all existence on this planet.

My senators are thoughtful and reasonable public servants who understand how important the environment is to our economy, our children and our public health. This month Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King will have an opportunity to confirm, or not, the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. I hope they oppose his nomination.

Pruitt is neither thoughtful nor reasonable. He is beholden to special interests, and his record shows it. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt worked to undermine laws and enforcement of neurotoxic pollutants like mercury and lead, which damage children’s developing brains.

An EPA led by Pruitt would cement Maine’s legacy as the “tailpipe of the nation” for decades to come. Pruitt has sued the EPA to stop vital protections for public health, including standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that crosses interstate lines. He is currently suing the agency in opposition to the Clean Power Plan; this is terrible for Maine because the Clean Power Plan seeks to reduce carbon pollution 30 percent, which means Maine’s air would be cleaner.

We need a reasonable person to lead the EPA, someone like past Republican EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Pruitt is not a good steward for Maine’s environmental future.

Charlotte Lehmann


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