Environmental groups launch ads on Fox & Friends to 'boot Pruitt'

The Sierra Club and other groups have vocally opposed Pruitt.

March 28, 2018, 7:51 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A group of environmental advocacy groups has launched a campaign to push Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt out of office this week.

The Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups launched the "Boot Pruitt" campaign Wednesday with a website, Twitter account and commercials strategically placed during the president's preferred morning news program Fox & Friends and also on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

The commercial mentions investigations into Pruitt's spending on travel and includes Pruitt's comments from a 2016 interview when he called Trump an "empty vessel" when it comes to the Constitution and the law.

Those comments were reported by CNN last month. At the time of the interview, Pruitt supported candidate Jeb Bush in the GOP primary.

The Sierra Club and other groups have vocally opposed Pruitt since the president nominated him to be EPA administrator in December 2016.

"Every audience deserves to hear what Scott Pruitt is doing to our air, our water, and our health -- even Donald Trump. Pruitt is endangering families and wasting taxpayer dollars. That would be enough to get him fired twice in any normal administration. But insulting Trump? We don’t think that’s something even he can ignore. There’s no question that its past time to boot Pruitt,” Sierra Club President Michael Brune said in a statement.

The EPA said in a statement Wednesday that the campaign will likely not be successful.

“A campaign funded by the Sierra Club running ads on MSNBC and Morning Joe attempting to influence President Trump may not beparticularly successful. But please don’t take my word for it, spend your money. Administrator Pruitt is proud to advance President Trump’s agenda on regulatory certainty and environmental stewardship,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement.

Some members of Congress also tweeted their support for the campaign.

In addition to the campaign from environmental groups, John Podesta, the chair of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and former counselor to President Barack Obama, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying it was time to give Pruitt "the boot."

"The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency has always been to protect human health and the environment. But since taking the helm just over a year ago, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made no secret that his personal mission is to do the opposite," Podesta writes in the editorial. "Time after time, Pruitt has ignored his agency’s own data, analysis and recommendations in order to protect corporate polluters. He has given new meaning to the lobbyist revolving door, hiring people who have close connections to the industries that the EPA is supposed to regulate. And he wasted taxpayer money for his own personal comfort."

The Sierra Club would not disclose how much money the group spent on the ads. The commercials on MSNBC and Fox News will run in the Washington, D.C. area through the rest of this week, according to the Sierra Club. The group is also promoting Facebook ads in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Pruitt's home town, accompanied by a petition calling on Pruitt to resign.