The Parliament of the World's Religions has issued the statement of testimony as follows to the United States Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works to be included in the official record of January 18, 2017 hearings on the nomination of Edward Scott Pruitt to the office of the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In keeping with the Parliament's mission to work diligently engaging all actors and guiding institutions, and to advance climate change policy and advocacy, the recommendations of the Parliament stated herein detail for the committee a summary of the consensus of the world’s spiritual communities in reference to urgent matters which will be immediately placed under the authority of the next Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
To the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works His Honorable Senator of Wyoming John Barrasso,
Her Honorable Senator of the State of Illinois and Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works Tammy Duckworth:
The Parliament of the World’s Religions
On the nomination of Edward Scott Pruitt
To serve as
Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency
JANUARY 18, 2017
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
Thank you for allowing the Parliament of the World’s Religions this opportunity to express our strong opposition to the nomination of Mr. Edward Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma to serve as Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency.
We speak not only for members of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in this country, but for those who are a part of our organization around the world, recognizing that assigning major responsibility to a person of his record promises devastating consequences that will affect people of every nation, every faith, and every culture in the world.
We are concerned that Mr. Pruitt has not demonstrated either the substantive competence or moral judgment to serve in this position. We encourage you to extend the duration of this confirmation hearing as long as necessary to allow the full examination of Mr. Pruitt’s qualifications and record.
Mr. Pruitt has a clear record of opposing the conservative use of sound science in public policy, opposing the fundamental rationale for the existence of the Environmental Protection Agency, and opposing Congressional intent in multiple important federal statutes designed to protect our environment and promote the rights of current and future generations of Americans. Moreover, we are concerned that Mr. Pruitt’s ethical judgment, as demonstrated by his acceptance of partisan contributions from regulated entities, does not meet the standard for high federal office. His verbatim use of legal and policy language drafted by regulated industries in official legal documents and court arguments evidences his willingness to subvert public interest to the private interests of those who have supported his political causes.
His positions with regard to climate change demonstrate his lack of suitability for this position. At the 6th convening of Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, October 2015, more than 10,000 participants considered the challenges posed by human-created climate degradation and responded with wisdom and empowerment drawn from all of the world’s major religious traditions. These delegates, representing the academy, governments, spiritual communities, corporations and civic society, have forged a global faith-based environmental movement engaging more than 200 unique spiritual communities and 80 countries.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the reality and basic causes of climate change are settled science. We are also convinced that the evidence for the danger posed by human-caused climate change is irrefutable. We believe that all persons of good faith must work together to reduce human-caused greenhouse emissions and to prepare for and address the inescapable consequences of the changes we have already imposed upon the planet.
As representatives of the Parliament, we encourage you to ensure that any candidate confirmed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated clearly the knowledge, experience and moral judgment necessary to uphold the Agency’s mission of “protecting human health and the environment.” We also believe that future Administrators must demonstrate a willingness to sustain the support of the United States government to implement critical global climate accords through policies which protect our people, our country, our planet, and all of creation.
Please accept our great appreciation for your service to our nation. We ask that you include our Statement in the official record of hearings to begin on January 18, 2017 regarding the nomination of Mr. Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
It is our hope that questioning of any nominee will take into account the affirmations of the world’s religions on urgent matters of climate policy and care for the Earth in the forthcoming hearings.
We trust you will proceed in the public interest of our communities and for future generations of Americans.
With utmost gratitude,
Rev. Dr. Robert P. Sellers,
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield
Executive Director, Parliament of the World’s Religions
The mission of the Parliament of the World’s Religions is to cultivate harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and to foster their engagement with guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. Its origins are rooted to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the east and west.
Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international 501c3 NGO affiliated to the United Nations Department of Public Information. The Parliament hosts the world’s premier interfaith convening in cities across the globe. Past Parliaments have convened in Chicago, IL, USA; Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; and Salt Lake City, USA.
The host city and dates of the forthcoming 7th convening of the Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in 2018 are soon to be announced.