Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Trump picks Oklahoma attorney general Pruitt, foe of EPA on three fronts, to lead the agency

Scott Pruitt (AP photo)
"In a move signaling an assault on President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy, President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil-and-gas-intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency," The Washington Post reports. "Pruitt has spent much of his energy as attorney general fighting the very agency he is being nominated to lead. . . . On his Linked In page, Pruitt boasts of being “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda."

Pruitt has said the debate on climate change is “far from settled.” He is a leader of the largely Republican group of attorneys general suing to block EPA's Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, arguing that it is not authorized by law; to block the agency's bid to limit the emissions of methane by oil and gas operations; and against its re-interpretation of the phrase "waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act.

"Environmental groups reacted with alarm Wednesday at the nomination. And New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman vowed to 'use the full power' of his office to wage a legal battle to 'compel' enforcement of environmental laws under Trump," report Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis and Stephen Mufson of the Post. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), told the newspaper, “Scott Pruitt would have EPA stand for Every Polluter’s Ally.” Meanwhile, "Industry groups expressed satisfaction with the choice," the Post reports.

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