Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg lashed Scott Pruitt for failing to protect the environment in a “Face the Nation” interview set to air Sunday.
After Bloomberg unleashed a litany of criticism about the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, program host Margaret Brennan told him: “It sounds like you’re saying he’s not doing the job that he should be doing.”
Bloomberg responded: “I don’t think there’s any question about that. His job is to protect the environment and he has walked away 100 percent from that, saying the ‘environment doesn’t need protection, I’m going to protect jobs.’ That’s not his job.”
He added that Pruitt’s “policies are not good for the world. To debunk science and walk away from it is just ridiculous. Even if you don’t believe it, if there’s a possibility that it’s right, you have to take prophylactic actions to prevent a disaster.”
Things “are changing,” said Bloomberg. “You can’t deny that. You have a right to your own opinions; you don’t have a right to your own facts … something is going on and we have to prepare for the worst.”
Bloomberg was part of a delegation of mayors, governors, business leaders and environmental advocates who attended a United Nations summit on climate change in Bonn, Germany, last November. The delegation blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement capping nations’ carbon emissions to battle global warming. Trump has characterized climate change as a hoax invented by the Chinese.
Pruitt is facing a growing avalanche of criticism for excessive spending and alleged conflicts of interest, among several issues. The Government Accountability Office determined early this week that Pruitt’s unauthorized expenditure of $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth in his office broke federal law. Reuters reported Thursday that Pruitt spent $45,000 in EPA funds to send a five-person advance team to Australia to prepare for an upcoming trip there that was later canceled.
Pruitt and the EPA have justified his pricey 20-man security detail and first-class travel as protection from “death threats.” The EPA yet to detail the threats and has instead pointed to criticism of Pruitt on social media.