Following revelations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done its best to hide a government study into water contaminants and public health, Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California Governor, Terminator star, and environmentalist, put an intriguing idea to Twitter: If water pollution is NBD, why doesn’t the department’s administrator Scott Pruitt drink the water until he taps out or resigns?
“I’m a simple guy so I have a simple remedy when people like Pruitt ignore or hide pollution: if you don’t have a problem with Americans drinking contaminated drinking water, drink it yourself until you tap out or resign,” Arnie tweeted, attaching the Politico article exposing the scandal.
And while support for Schwarzenegger's comment was by no means universal, from the responses it appears that many are keen for Pruitt to follow through on the proposal.
The report that came out on Monday is just the latest in a slew of controversies facing the EPA administrator – though it could be one of the most damaging given the criticism and condemnation Pruitt and the White House have faced both sides of the aisle.
"It would be unacceptable if the political considerations of those at the highest levels of the EPA led to the suppression of information concerning the public health of Americans," said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) in a statement, reports NPR. "The EPA must provide my constituents with answers to these allegations immediately.”
This follows a series of recently disclosed emails exposing an attempted cover-up of a Health and Human Services Department (HHS) assessment one White House aide said could cause a "public relations nightmare".
Essentially, the study concluded that dangerous chemicals currently contaminating hundreds of water supplies across the US from West Virginia to New York are more harmful and could pose a threat to human health at much lower levels than previously thought. These chemicals include PFOA and PFOS, which have been linked to cancer, thyroid problems, and potentially fatal pregnancy conditions.
The study was due to be released in January but is yet to be made public. There appears to be no timeline to suggest when and if it will be.
Arnie, who is a registered Republican, has been a vocal activist for environmental issues (as well as PPI mis-selling) and, as Governor of California, the former bodybuilder introduced the first US cap on greenhouse emissions. Since leaving the job, he has become an environmental advocate for the UN and announced his plans to sue oil companies for their contribution to global warming and for “knowingly killing people all over the world”.
“I believe the science is in. The debate is over and the time for action is now,” Schwarzenegger said at the first “summit of conscience for the climate”. “And it is our responsibility to leave this world a better place than we found it, but right now we are failing future generations.”
As of yet, there has been no response to Arnie's statement from either Pruitt or the White House.