Scott Pruitt as Head of the E.P.A.
This week Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma, was announced as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump. Coral Davenport & Eric Lipton, Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A., www.nytimes.com (Dec. 7, 2016). Pruitt takes a hard stance against climate change and has consistently battled against Obama’s climate change policies. Id.
Earlier this year Pruitt wrote, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming… Dissent is not a crime.” Id. As Attorney General, he advocated for states’ rights, stressing the overreaching power of the current administration and his hostility towards the E.P.A. Id. Pruitt also formed an alliance with several of the largest energy/fossil fuel producers to deliberately resist the Obama regulatory agenda. Id.
The current administration focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by implementing more stringent regulations on power plants. Id. Since these regulations fall under the Clean Air Act of 1970, Trump and Pruitt will not be able to outright get rid of the rules, but they could weaken or delay the regulations making them ineffective. Id.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a member of the committee that must confirm Pruitt’s nomination, states, “At a time when climate change is the great environmental threat to the entire planet, it is sad and dangerous that Mr. Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt to lead the E.P.A. The American people must demand leaders who are willing to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.” Id.