Temperance Beer signs letter lobbying against Trump’s EPA nominee
February 16, 2017
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Evanston’s Temperance Beer Co. joined a group of 32 brewing companies in sending a letter this week urging senators to vote against the nomination of Scott Pruitt for head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The letter was organized by the Brewers for Clean Water campaign, which is run through the Natural Resources Defense Council. The letter says Pruitt’s “record of attacking clean water protections” makes him unfit to lead the EPA.
“Mr. Pruitt has challenged virtually every important EPA safeguard in recent years, often falsely accusing the agency of overstepping its authority,” the letter states. “We need an EPA administrator who will enforce our laws to protect our resources and our communities, not someone who tries to weaken safeguards on behalf of polluters.”
Pruitt currently serves as the attorney general of Oklahoma. In that role, he sued the EPA 14 times over various regulations. A vote on Pruitt’s confirmation is set for Friday.
In an opinion piece he co-wrote with now-Alabama Sen. Luther Strange and published in the National Review in May, Pruitt indicated he thought the debate over the existence of climate change was ongoing.
“Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” they wrote. “That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress.”
Josh Gilbert, the owner of Temperance Beer Co told the Daily that Pruitt’s support for dismantling EPA regulations was concerning and that his business would suffer without proper environmental regulations.
Gilbert said that while clean water is important to everyone, without it the “livelihood of everyone who works here and everyone in the brewing industry” would be threatened, a sentiment echoed in the letter.
“Beer is about 90 percent water, making local water supply quality and its characteristics, such as pH and mineral content, critical to beer brewing and the flavor of many classic brews,” the letter states. “Changes to our water supply … threaten our ability to consistently produce our great-tasting beer, and thus, our bottom line.”
Gilbert said Temperance is a longtime member of the Brewers for Clean Water and is “grateful for all the efforts the NRDC does.”
Pruitt’s support for dismantling EPA regulations was concerning, Gilbert said, and his business would suffer without proper environmental regulations.
“He’d be more interested in dismantling the protections for what the EPA decides right now, which would be opening it up for what people say is pro business,” he said. “They say regulations are anti business but obviously in this case, that is opposite of the truth.”
Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated the owner of Temperance Beer Co.’s first name. His name is Josh Gilbert. The Daily regrets the error.