Here's what I wrote:
I am writing about the pending Senate confirmation votes on the appointment of Scott Pruitt for Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
He should be viewed skeptically by the Senate, given his past history of opposition to the fundamental missions of the Federal program that he is nominated to direct. Mr Pruitt has sued the EPA 14 times and has campaigned on the boast that he is “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” Yet according to a recent poll (Ipsos, 1-28-2017), 67 percent of Americans want a strengthened or expanded EPA, or for EPA to maintain the same level of protection. Fewer than one-third even among Republicans want the EPA to be “weakened or eliminated”.
The Evangelical Environmental Network, of which I am privileged to be a member, recently sent President Trump a letter signed by over 500 scientists, pastors and ordinary believers, which states in part:
The EPA Administrator plays a crucial role in defending all of us from the health consequences of pollution, especially vulnerable populations like the unborn, children, the elderly, those with heart and lung conditions, and others with special susceptibilities. Mr. Pruitt’s past actions suggest he would not defend the vulnerable from pollution.
I encourage you, as a person of faith and as a Senator charged with especial responsibility towards our Nation’s future, to vote against Mr Pruitt. He is not the right person for this critical task.
And here is Senator Toomey's reply
Thank you for contacting me about the nomination of Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this matter.
As you know, on December 7, 2016, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Scott Pruitt to serve as the next EPA Administrator. Currently, Mr. Pruitt is the Oklahoma Attorney General and, among other things, he has been involved in litigation on various environmental matters.
Now that the Senate confirmation process for Mr. Pruitt has begun, I value knowing your views about this nomination. I believe that the Senate's constitutional role in providing advice and consent for presidential appointments is important, and all nominees deserve careful and thorough consideration. As you may know, I supported many of President Obama's nominees and will support well qualified nominees selected by President Trump as well.
Also, while I have supported sensible environmental protections, I am concerned about the excessive regulations coming out of the EPA in recent years that needlessly impede job creation and hurt the pocketbooks of hard-working Pennsylvanians. Under the Obama Administration, the EPA was especially aggressive in proposing new rules that raised energy prices, imposed onerous compliance costs, undermined economic growth, and put Pennsylvanians out of work. I am hopeful that the next EPA Administrator will take a new direction and pursue a more balanced approach that is mindful of both our economy as well as our environment.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.It's a disappointing reply in that it focuses entirely on the costs of regulation and does not acknowledge that regulation produces benefits to the wider population as well. Nevertheless, Senator Toomey does say (as of course he has to!) "I value knowing your views". A huge amount is at stake, for the future of the nation and the world, in how the present administration addresses climate change. Leading conservatives as well as "liberals" know this and are making creative proposals for the future. Let's keep asking for an EPA director who knows it too.