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In Rebuke of Trump Administration, Voters Deliver Strong Backing for Public Health and Environmental Protection

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WASHINGTON – The results of the mid-term elections are a repudiation of President Trump’s pro-polluter agenda that could not have come at a more critical time for the health and well-being of every American, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.

“President Trump was right,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “The election was a referendum on his presidency and policies, and the results are a disaster for his administration but good news for the American people.”

“This emphatic rejection by voters of President Trump and all the damage he’s done to public health and the environment these last two years is one of the most significant election results in decades,” said Cook. “It’s now crystal clear that millions of Americans from every region and background have had enough of the administration’s blistering assault against literally every effort to safeguard people and the environment from pollution.”  

With Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in January, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., will become the chairs of powerful committees. Their long records of support for the environment and public health indicate they will serve as a much-needed check on the Trump administration’s pro-polluter agenda.  

Pallone will become chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. DeFazio will chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over water resources, among other key environmental programs.

“There has never been a more important time to have someone like Frank Pallone assume the role of top cop on behalf of public health,” said Cook. “Rep. Pallone, Rep. DeFazio and other public health champions will soon have the authority to check a president and those in Congress who are working against the health of their own constituents.”

“The Trump administration and pro-polluter members of Congress will finally be forced to answer for rubber-stamping toxic chemicals and pesticides on behalf of the chemical industry,” Cook said.

“It’s hard to measure the harm done by the Trump administration to the EPA and its work to reduce exposure to toxic contamination in our air, water and consumer products,” he added . “But the people, not polluters, won tonight. With Frank Pallone and other public health champions in charge of the House, the American people will finally have a team in power pushing back on their behalf.”

Among the issues that could see early action before the Energy and Commerce Committee in the new Congress include passing much-needed legislation to revamp the failed federal cosmetics law, a plan to address the widespread and growing PFAS water contamination crisis, and critical oversight of EPA’s implementation of the new Toxic Substances Control Act.

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The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.