After the public was informed last week that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt has been forced to take luxury first-class flights because people were yelling at him for destroying the planet in coach, few expressed sympathy.
“I wish that I could get away like that from my situation, but I don’t get a day off from living this nightmare.”
But those who live in heavily polluted areas are particularly appalled by the EPA head’s “hollow” excuse, because while Pruitt can run to the front of the plane to evade criticism, families throughout the nation can’t escape their toxic communities—which will likely be made worse by President Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
“It’s so insulting and a slap in the face, that he is above sitting with people who have questions, who might be the people who have been affected by his decisions,” Amy Brown, a North Carolina mother whose water is under threat from a nearby coal ash pit, told ThinkProgress in an interview. “I wish that I could get away like that from my situation, but I don’t get a day off from living this nightmare.”
This sentiment was echoed by several Americans who live in areas that have been heavily exploited by Big Oil. Speaking to ThinkProgress, they expressed disgust that Pruitt is hiding from public scrutiny while actively working to undermine public health and safety.
Alden Cleanthes, a Virginia father whose son suffered from pancreatitis that was likely caused by water pollution, tore into the EPA’s claim that Pruitt has to fly first class for “security” reasons.
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