MN brewery joins others to urge senators to vote against EPA nominee

Breweries around the country are urging senators to vote against President Donald Trump's nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Breweries around the country sent a letter to U.S. senators Wednesday, urging them to vote against President Donald Trump's nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

St. Paul-based Bang Brewing, which was Minnesota's first dedicated organic brewery, joined 31 other breweries to sign the letter, which argues nominee Scott Pruitt has a "record of attacking clean water protections" while he was attorney general of Oklahoma.

Having clean water is really important to breweries. Beer is made up of about 90 percent water, so if the local water supply has a lot of junk in it, the beer won't taste good – and that's just bad for business.

"Protecting clean water is central to our business and our long-term success. Not only does the great-tasting beer we brew depend on it, but so do the communities in which we operate," the letter says. "Mr. Pruitt cannot be trusted to protect America’s water resources. We hope that we can count on you to oppose his confirmation to head EPA."

Something worth noting: Bang Brewing and the other breweries that signed the letter are part of the National Resource Defense Council's Brewers for Clean Water initiative. But some prominent breweries that are part of the group did not sign the letter, including Sierra Nevada Brewing, Lagunitas, Avery Brewing, Founders and Great Lakes, Brewbound points out.

Arguments for and against Pruitt

A full Senate vote to approve Pruitt as the administrator of the EPA is expected this week. Democrats – including Minnesota's U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar – have said they'll vote against Pruitt, while a few Republican senators have expressed their concerns with Pruitt and have said they'd vote no, too.

Opponents of Pruitt, which includes pretty much every environmental group imaginable, are worried that if he becomes the head of the EPA, he'll get rid of all the environmental protections enacted under President Barack Obama and go for a "more collaborative approach" with the industry leaders that helped advance his career in politics, the New York Times said. They're also concerned with the fact Pruitt has sued the EPA several times, and his failure to comply with open-records law, The Atlantic explains.

Meanwhile, Pruitt's supporters – including 23 conservative advocacy groups – argue Pruitt's record shows he supports the idea that individual states know what they need, and should be allowed to regulate their own environment. These supporters have stressed that Pruitt isn't against clean air or water, but dealing with these issues is best handled locally.

Next Up

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

police lights

Police recover more than 14 pounds of meth, 4,000 pills during drug bust

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection to the drugs.

Gopher hockey

Gophers respond to drop in rankings with 10-goal outburst

It had been 17 years since the Gophers last scored 10 goals in a game.

snow

Winter storm watch issued where snow could exceed 6 inches in MN

Snow will spread from west to east starting Saturday morning in western Minnesota.

Related

Pruitt confirmed as EPA head, Franken and Klobuchar voted against him

Minnesota's senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, were among those to vote against Pruitt's confirmation.

3 MN craft breweries are among the largest in the country

It's a list of the 50 largest craft breweries, and three from Minnesota are on it.

Mankato Brewery's comic book cans are geeky goodness

It's also the latest brewery to ditch bottles in favor of cans.

This new book could help you not break the law while opening a brewery in MN

Opening a brewery isn't just about making good beer. Though that's important too.

Honoring a customer – and helping others – with beer from a Rochester brewery

Chris Balvanz spent a lot of time at the brewpub while his wife was being treated for liver cancer.