Almost every day we can read about another unqualified crony being appointed to run any number of federal agencies. The Trump administration has made a joke out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by appointing Scott Pruitt to lead the organization. As the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought the EPA’s regulations and continually denied the science on climate change.
Another example is the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration despite the fact he is not a scientist. Clovis, a former radio talk show host, economics professor, and Trump campaign aide, openly admitted to having no degrees in agricultural or natural sciences and called climate change “junk science”.
Clovis has since withdrawn his consideration for the under-secretary position but clearly shows the Trump administration’s pattern of nominating anti-climate change, anti-science, political cronies to lead federal agencies.
With the heads of major natural science agencies being run by anti-science ideologues, it would then fall on Congress to address some of the environmental issues facing the country.
That is just one of the reasons Rye State Rep, Mindi Messmer, has decided to run for Congress. As an environmental scientist, she brings nearly 30 years of experience working to clean up the environment and protecting communities from the harmful toxins that lay dormant underground.
“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Messmer. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”
“It is encouraging to see candidates like Mindi, with a proven track record of standing up for science science, stepping up to the plate to run for office,” said Joshua Morrow, Executive Director of 314 Action after hearing of Messmer’s decision to run. ”In an era where alternative facts and attacks on science are the norm at the hands of the Trump Administration, Congress needs the perspective of scientists who will base policy on evidence rather than intuition.”
For 28 years, Messmer has run Terra Nova Environmental, a consulting firm that focuses on the “evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites.”
Most notably she was the first to identify and report a “pediatric cancer cluster” in five Seacoast NH towns. Her work prompted then Governor, Maggie Hassan to create a task force to investigate the “rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma double pediatric cancer cluster.”
As head of the task force subcommittee, Messmer coordinated with the EPA and the NH Department of Environmental Services to investigate the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, as the possible cause of the cancer cluster.
Messmer has also been leading the charge on the contaminated ground water in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield linked to the Saint Gobain factory as well as groundwater contaminations linked to the Pease Air Force Base.
As a consultant, Messmer could only do so much. But as a state legislator she could write her own legislation to get the state to address these water issues. And that is exactly what she did.
Messmer was elected to the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has already submitted a number of bills, three of which have already become law. Messmer’s bills created commissions to further study the cancer cluster and water contamination on the Seacoast as well as a commission to study “environmentally triggered illnesses” in New Hampshire.
In a brief conversation with Messmer after her announcement to run for Congress she talked about how there are more than 150 “superfund sites” similar to those at Pease AFB all across the country that need to be investigated.
Messmer is a longtime resident of Rye, NH where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.
You can read her full campaign announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to the NH Labor News to get more news on the Congressional races in NH.