Trump’s pick to head the EPA? A man who’s suing it.


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has tried to block rules reducing pollution and protecting water.

President-elect Trump has announced his pick for head for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Republican Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The twist? Pruitt is currently suing the agency he’ll soon lead. He has helped lead the battle against key climate-change initiatives such as the Clean Power Plan, which 29 state attorneys-general are contesting. Pruitt and other attorneys-general are also suing the agency over a rule regulating methane emissions from oil and gas production, as well as over other rules meant to curb mercury and arsenic emissions, reduce smog, and protect streams and wetlands.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore
Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
Gage Skidmore

Pruitt joins Oklahoma GOP senators James Inhofe and Tom Coburn in questioning the need to act on climate change. In an op-ed in The National Review earlier this year, Pruitt wrote that the debate is “far from settled” and called the Clean Power Plan an example of “advancing the climate-change agenda by any means necessary.” In 2014, he sent the EPA a letter claiming that the agency had greatly overestimated the air pollution produced by natural gas drilling in Oklahoma. The New York Times later reported that the letter was actually written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of the biggest energy companies in the state – and that Pruitt and a dozen other Republican attorneys general had teamed up with energy companies to push back against what they saw as regulatory excesses by Obama.

Oil wells on a rural road around sunset in Northern Oklahoma.
Clinton Steeds

Pruitt’s pro-energy stance and aggressive fights against federal regulations helped him get the nod. “You are going to want to have someone who has had state experience, who really understands the issues and has had to deal with an overreaching EPA as a federal agency,” George “David” Banks, executive vice president of the American Council for Capital Formation, told E&E News in September.

Environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife immediately denounced the “absolute wrong choice” of Pruitt to lead the 15,000-employee agency. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., wrote in a press release that “he’s bragged about suing, trashing and manipulating the agency he’s now supposed to lead.” And the American Sustainable Business Councilstated in a press release that “Pruitt’s selection signals a rollback of policies that have stimulated innovation and progress. In addition to clean energy, clean water and chemical regulation are under threat as a result of preferential treatment these regulated industries are expected to receive.”


2 thoughts on “Trump’s pick to head the EPA? A man who’s suing it.

  1. Hang, this is just the beginning. The Trump Regime has not yet had its Inauguration. So far, this new regime’s golden plate club includes several Goldman Sachs rich, corporate hacks:

    “To understand President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to clean up Washington D.C., go the basement garage of Trump Tower. There’s a partially covered black Lincoln limousine parked there with a sign on the windshield that says “Drain the Swamp.”

    That’s pretty much how Trump’s Cabinet is shaping up: a bit of populist rhetoric that fails to conceal a large concentration of the wealthy, well-connected people Trump claimed he was running against.”

    This is bad enough. But, these wealthy guys who live in the same ideological bubble as Trump, are also dedicated to more Right-Wing, Racist, Anti-Reproductive Rights, Anti-Environmental legislation and other actions, which will make Reagan, G.W. Bush look pretty innocuous.

    I hope that those who either stupidly or on-purpose voted for Trump, all have to work at Carl’s Jr. for below-minimum wage, and replaced by robots!

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