Press Release: Franciscans Reject Scott Pruitt’s Appointment to Lead the EPA

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Janine Walsh
Communications Coordinator

February 17, 2017

Press Release: Franciscans Reject Scott Pruitt’s Appointment to Lead the EPA

Pruitt is an intolerable threat to the already fragile state of health and the environment and to the EPA itself

Washington, D.C. - Scott Pruitt’s appointment today to lead the EPA directly threatens the welfare of the planet, the American people and our brothers and sisters around the world who are directly impacted by our nation’s climate policies. He has a history of supporting measures that pollute rather than protect the environment, and he continues to deny the severity and cause of the climate crisis. Scott Pruitt has previously sued the EPA 19 times as Attorney General of Oklahoma. His appointment indicates that the President intends to fast-track the dismantling of the entire agency. This assault against the environment directly opposes our shared Franciscan values of care for creation that Pope Francis outlined in his Encyclical Laudato Si.

In a radio interview on Exploring Energy in April 2016, Scott Pruitt referred to climate change as being “just a religious belief,” disrespecting both people of faith and established climate science. For decades, people of good will have worked to protect our planet’s clean air and water for our children and for future generations. As Pope Francis reminds us all in Laudato Si, first world polluters are detrimentally impacting our sisters and brothers on the frontlines of climate change.

“As Franciscans, we follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who saw God in all of creation and cared for the earth as well as those who were poor,” said Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network.  “As Pope Francis states in Laudato Si, ‘Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.’ Therefore we reject Scott Pruitt’s nomination and call for the EPA to be strengthened, not dismantled.” 

The Franciscan Action Network firmly opposes the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. We are disgusted by Congress’ lack of leadership, their inability to put people above profit, and their immoral decision to not stand up for our nation’s children and for posterity.


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: