While Texas and Florida suffer in the wake of two deadly hurricanes, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is busy undermining the agency that could help them recover, starting with staffing cuts that are so severe that top EPA Inspector General and Government Accountability Office officials are warning lawmakers that the agency needs more staffing and additional funding, not less.

With a combination of warmer air and water temperatures, as well as rising sea levels, climate change is directly responsible for the increasing danger of natural disasters like Irma and Harvey. It is with this knowledge that the Trump administration should be taking drastic steps to cut our carbon pollution, not ignore it entirely.

Instead, Pruitt is completely gutting the agency that is charged with the protection of the American population’s health, blocking lifesaving climate protections and recklessly endangering lives in order to benefit the wallets of polluters.

With increasing temperatures, natural disasters are bound to increase in number and severity. Hamstringing the EPA will only serve to hurt us more when we are tasked with cleaning up the harmful toxins and other pollution following these disasters.

Saif Pratt

Portland