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Illinois Craft Brewers: Don't Approve Water-Hating Scott Pruitt For EPA

By Stephen Gossett in Food on Feb 16, 2017 4:53PM

The same day that one Trump nominee withdrew his nomination amidst growing controversy, another one of the president’s picks faced some staunch backlash from a group not particularly well known for making a splash in the political arena: brewers. A coalition of 32 craft breweries—including seven from Illinois—delivered a letter on Wednesday to the U.S. Senate urging lawmakers to vote against Scott Pruitt, a climate change denialist and Trump's submission to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The anti-Pruitt campaign follows a pretty simple, logical line of thought: brewers require clean water to make beer; and Pruitt has a demonstrated history of going against environmental protections, whether while acting as Attorney General of Oklahoma or in comments made during confirmation hearings in front of Senators.

“Our breweries cannot operate without reliable, clean water supplies," the group wrote in the letter. "Together, our businesses employ hundreds of people, and our beers are shipped across the country. We need an EPA administrator who will adopt and enforce policies that protect the water sources we use to make our great-tasting beer. Mr. Pruitt’s actions as Oklahoma Attorney General, however, demonstrate a history of attacking and undermining the protections on which we depend.”

The following seven Illinois-based breweries are part of the coalition, all of them partners in the Natural Resources Defense Council's Brewers for Clean Water campaign:
- Andersonville Brewing Co.
- Engrained Brewing Company
- Goose Island Beer Co.
- Greenstar Organic Brewery
- Half Acre Beer Company
- Temperance Beer Co.
- Two Brothers Brewing Company

“Protecting clean water is central to our business and our long-term success... Mr. Pruitt cannot be trusted to protect America’s water resources," the letter added.

The brewers' letter—along with a complete list of participating breweries from around the country—can be read in full here.