scott pruitt
Photo: Gage Skidmore

Pruitt sells out sportsmen

EPA head throws anglers under the bus with climate denial

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above "have mercy now, save poor Bob if you please"

Back in 1936, Robert Johnson recorded Cross Road Blues, one of the all-time blues classics. Johnson’s lyrics speak to regret and despair; he shares the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil and learned the hard way that he has to pay the ultimate price.

Standin' at the crossroad, baby, risin' sun goin' down Standin' at the crossroad, baby, eee-eee, risin' sun goin' down I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin' down

Johnson’s cautionary tale has echoed down through the decades, a warning for those who think they can cut a deal with the devil and walk away with their soul intact.

Sadly, it looks like the new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has ignored Robert Johnson’s warnings and signed his own Satanic pact. But rather than paying the price himself, he’s trying to trade our children and our future—not to mention our fishing—to satisfy his debt.

As anglers, we know that clean water and healthy landscapes are the foundations for our sport. Without intact watersheds, our fishing diminishes and eventually disappears.

As Americans, we know that viable ecosystems are necessary for agriculture, for human well-being, and for a strong economy. If we don’t have healthy landscapes, everything else fades away.

Most of us understand that the EPA is tasked with preserving our health and our landscapes. In a very real sense, it’s the wall that keeps pollution and environmental ills from walking into our schools or climbing through our bedroom windows. It’s the buttress between clean air and dirty air; between drinkable water and sewage. Because of a 2007 Supreme Court decision and the ongoing inability of Congress to do its job, it’s also the primary shield that protects America from the impacts of global warming.

In case there’s any doubt in your mind, human-caused global warming—or climate change, as it’s frequently referred to—is the single greatest threat to our families and our fishing.

And now Scott Pruitt, the head of the EPA, has dismissed decades of research, thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed climate papers, and the near-unanimous opinion of the scientific community. Yesterday, he stated publicly that humans are not responsible for changing the climate.

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Seriously? Human activities—like burning fossil fuels—are not the “primary contributor to the global warming?”

We can’t know what Scott Pruitt is thinking, or what’s in his heart. But every indication is that he has sold his soul to the fossil fuel industry, and that he is placing industry profits ahead of his duty to protect our health and our landscapes. That’s reprehensible. It’s also unforgivable.

Pruitt’s actions are no different from a theater manager who cautions moviegoers to stay in their seats as fire consumes the building, or from a public official who tells residents along the river to pay no attention to the huge dam failing just upstream.

There is no excuse for what Pruitt said yesterday. None.

We can not afford to have a morally-challenged climate denier heading the EPA. Mr. Pruitt should resign immediately. If he’s not willing to resign, he should be removed. He is not fit to hold his position.

Todd Tanner
Yvon Chouinard
Ted Williams
Craig & Jackie Mathews
Kirk Deeter
Greg Thomas
Tim Romano
Hilary Hutcheson
Chad Brown
Marshall Cutchin
Tom Bie
Phil Monahan
Brandon Shuler
Tim & Joanne Linehan
Steve Hemkens
Wade Fellin
Bill Klyn
Steve Zakur
Chris Madson
Mike Sepelak
Chad Love
Marc Payne
John Arnold
Rich Paini
Brian Bennett
Paul Moinester
Terry Gibson
Tim Harden
Earl Harper
Matthew Reilly
Tom Davis
Seamus McGraw
Erin Block
Tom Sadler
Johnny Carrol Sain
Pat Clayton
Dylan Tomine
Chad Shmukler


He's "sold his soul" for fame and fortune - it's unfortunate for us and the future of the world.

Guy Franzen

Thanks, Guy!

I feel like I'm above the freeway watching a huge wreck about to unfold. My prayer is that in the hopefully short time these clowns are in office, the collateral damage is readily reversible and the ship turned about.

The Cuyahoga River, which runs through Cleveland, Ohio, became a symbol of industrial pollution for having caught fire 13 times starting in 1868. The most famous of these fires occurred in 1969.

Stirred to action by this fire Congress passed the National Environment Protection Act in 1970. This act created the EPA. One of the first acts of the EPA was the Clean Water Act of 1972.

Now you can catch Steelhead in the Cuyahoga. Thank you EPA and the Clean Water Act.

There is no proof of human caused global warming. Those who believe in it are useful idiots of a very demonic political conspiracy! Dig into it deeper and you will find this is true.

Yes! Thank you

That was 1968 for the fires on the Cuyahoga, which shows how fast things can recover if we only give them a chance. In a lifetime, eagles and other once species threatened by pollution have come off the endangered and threatened lists. The EPA has certainly done a lot more good than harm. After 40+ years of EPA regulations the USA economy is still the strongest in the world, and the air, food, soil, and water are a lot better off than when I was a kid growing up in the 60s. Changes made by the EPA have saved millions of Americans from premature morbidity and mortality, and other countries often adopt EPA based regulations as their own so the they can protect their people and environment. What could that be worth? Perhaps it reaches into trillions of dollars.


Thanks, Jeffrey!

Thanks, Craig!

Jamie Oxley

I am all in from the Gulf coast and central Texas.

HatchMag, thanks for your comments. Have you determined your own contribution to global warming? Promoting trips to Kamchatka, and 7,000 mile Alaskan road trips towing a camping trailer?
We need to know a specific percentage of climate change that each of us is responsible for, and what lifestyle changes we each must make. Otherwise, we are all functionally taking the same position as Pruitt.

Quoted in the Washington Post article on this dust-up: “If I am interpreting Pruitt’s statements correctly, I do not find anything to disagree with in what he said: we don’t know how much of recent warming can be attributed to humans,” recently retired Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry, who herself has questioned the extent of the role humans play in global warming, wrote on her blog. “In my opinion, this is correct and is a healthy position for both the science and policy debates.”