Activist Erin Brockovich slammed President-elect Joe Biden in an op-ed for The Guardian on Thursday, criticizing him for tapping a former DuPont consultant to join his Environmental Protection Agency transition board.
Earlier this month, Biden appointed Michael McCabe to his agency review team at the EPA. McCabe worked for Biden as communications and projects director between 1987 and 1995, and later served as deputy administrator of the EPA during the Clinton administration. He went on to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont, a chemical company that has notably fought regulation of perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8.
In her op-ed, Brockovich, 60, explains how that chemical is “used in everything from waterproof clothes, stain-resistant textiles and food packaging to non-stick pans” and has “been linked to lowered fertility, cancer and liver damage.” She goes on to eviscerate Biden for McCabe’s appointment, and explains how his affiliation with DuPont makes him a poor candidate for the job.
“It should go without saying that someone who advised DuPont on how to avoid regulations is not someone we want advising this new administration,” Brockovich writes.
She goes on to ask: “Are we the people supposed to trust a former DuPont man in a transition team tasked with reviewing the Chemical Safety Board?”
An environmental activist and consultant and former legal clerk, Brockovich came to notoriety for being part of the team that won a $333 million settlement for a water contamination suit against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993. She became a household name following Julia Roberts’ Oscar-winning portrayal of her in Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 film “Erin Brockovich.”
“Is this how the newly elected leadership wants to start what is supposed to be a healing and unifying administration? Are we already falling back on the old and antiquated, hide-and-seek, conceal, dodge and deny leadership or are you going to come out and be the change and the hope needed when it comes to the environment?” she wrote in Thursday’s op-ed. “I don’t see how picking someone from industry is moving us toward that goal.”
Brockovich concluded the essay by saying that “we are in this mess because we continue to do the same old thing,” and that Biden needs to “do the right thing.”
After the op-ed was published, Brockovich added on Twitter: “This new administration needs to know that just because they are following perhaps the most abhorrent in our history doesn’t mean they get a free pass - they must know we are watching and we won’t be silent. Ever.”
You can read the entire op-ed here.