We recently caught up with Dominique Browning, co-founder and Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force, to weigh in on Donald Trump’s pick of Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency…
E Magazine: What is Moms Clean Air Force? How/when did it get started and where does the project/organization stand today? Who funds the group?
Moms Clean Air Force is a little over five years old. We are a group of moms—and dads, sons, daughters, grandparents—who have united to strengthen protections against air pollution and climate change, for the sake of our children’s future, and their health. Moms Clean Air Force is funded by the Environmental Defense Fund, and other private donors.
E Magazine: Tell me about Moms Clean Air Force new ad campaign highlighting the dangers of putting Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA… How did the idea come about? How widely distributed are the ads? What are you hoping they accomplish?
We’re focusing on the Pruitt nomination because we were genuinely shocked when it was announced. Moms have crossed paths with the Oklahoma Attorney General since we started, because he has sued to STOP every single heath protection we have supported: protections against toxic mercury, smog, and other vital safeguards. He is also someone who denies climate science. So not only is his entire career based on fighting to protect polluters, he is also someone who does not base his analyses on sound science and public health research.
E Magazine: What other campaigns or projects has Moms Clean Air Force undertaken in the past?
We’ve fought hard to get mercury our of air—the mercury that comes from coal plant emissions, and rains into our waters, where it gets into our food. There’s a reason every pregnant woman is told to stay away from mercury—it is very damaging to the developing brains of babies. We’ve also fought for stronger smog rules; we’ve fought to support the “good neighbor rule” to keep a state’s pollution out of the air of downwind neighbors; we’ve fought against toxic fracking pollution, too. And we helped achieved significant legislation under President Obama to keep unregulated, untested toxic chemicals out of our products—so that families are not the guinea pigs for the chemical industry.
E Magazine: Once the Trump administration is in place, what will Moms Clean Air Force be focusing on next?
We will be watching EPA very carefully. We will unite against any effort to dismantle the clean air protections that have been put in place by both Republican and Democrat administrations. We will also continue to work with businesses that are organized to do the right thing, like clean up their toxics, or stop the waste of precious resources that leak into the air.
E Magazine: What can I do to help Moms Clean Air Force? Are there ways to volunteer locally?
Yes, volunteer! You’d be amazed at how much difference one person can make. Pick up the phone and call your Senators’ offices. Tell them you care about clean air. Tell them you are reading about climate change, and you want us to move to a clean energy future. Go see your Governor, and tell her that she is responsible too for keeping our world safe, and that you are watching. Don’t want to call? Write letters. Sign petitions. And learn. The more you read—and you can find lots of great information on our website—the more you will see how important it is that we support clean air protections. We can’t take anything for granted!