Leading Evangelicals Plead With Donald Trump To Withdraw Scott Pruitt From Environment Protection Agency

Scott Pruitt in his office of Oklahoma Attorney General in Oklahoma CityReuters

A group of evangelical church and lay leaders in the US has called on Donald Trump to reconsider his choice of climate change sceptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges our nation faces," the evangelicals state. "Pruitt's past actions suggest he would not defend the vulnerable from pollution."

Jim Wallis is among the evangelicals urging Trump to reconsiderAP Photo/Virginia Mayo

The signatories include Jim Wallis of Sojourners, biology professor Jonathan Twining from Eastern Nazarene college in Quincy, Ron Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action and maths professor John Roe of Penn State university.

Until now, evangelicals have seemed largely in support of Pruitt for the agency, a body he has spent much of his time as Attorney General for Oklahoma criticising.

Only this week, many conservative evangelical leaders, mainly Southern Baptists, sent a warm letter of support for Pruitt to the President-elect. Signatories included Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Now, more than 70 pro-life Catholic and Evangelical leaders and 450 pro-life Christians from across the country are pleading with Trump for him to "reconsider and withdraw" the nomination of Scott Pruitt.

In the letter, published by Creation Care, they call for someone to head who has "a more even handed record of protecting human life from pollution."

They cite Psalm 72:13, which says a righteous king "will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save."

Jesus also teaches us to care for the vulnerable and when God created humanity, he commanded them to be good stewards of His creation.

More than half of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air, they say.

"Air pollution has been linked to birth defects, low birth weight, premature births, stillbirths, and infant deaths."

In addition, one in three children in the United States suffers from asthma, allergies and autism – all with links to fossil fuels and petrochemicals.

"Methane and other organic compounds leaking from natural gas production have been reported to cause birth defects and early term births, and these pollutants make it next to impossible for states like California, Texas, and Pennsylvania to reduce smog to safe levels."