Published: Thu, December 08, 2016
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Trump to pick foe of Obama climate agenda to run EPA

Trump to pick foe of Obama climate agenda to run EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general and a champion of the oil and gas industry, to run the the Environmental Protection Agency - the federal office that enforces almost all laws that protect America's air and water.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who shares Pruitt's skepticism of climate science, praised Pruitt's record of fighting back "against unconstitutional and overzealous environmental regulations". The news was announced today, after the Oklahoma attorney general beat out four other candidates, including climate change denier Myron Ebell.

"Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind", Pruitt wrote in the piece co-authored with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

Opponents of Scott Pruitt point to melting ice caps, such as those shown here in Greenland, as evidence that human-inspired climate change is real, definitive, and scientifically accurate.

The news that Trump intends to nominate Pruitt has subsequently drawn considerable criticism from environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers. Touted as the most aggressive climate action framework in American history, the Clean Power Plan is the only policy tool on the table that could put the United States on a path toward meeting its emissions reductions targets outlined in the Paris climate agreement.

Trump has promised to repeal the Obama administration's signature climate change rules, including the Clean Power Plan, which stipulates that power plants cut their carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030.

Many expect that Pruitt's case, which actually has yet to be decided upon in US federal court, will ultimately find its way before the Supreme Court, perhaps after the future President Donald Trump has a hand in appointing the deciding Justice.

A biography on the Oklahoma Attorney General's official website describes Pruitt as "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda".

Trump has called global warming a "hoax" and said he plans to abandon the USA commitment to reduce carbon emissions as part of the worldwide agreement signed previous year in Paris. It may also signal whether or not they will repeal any of President Barack Obama's environmental policies.

Mr. Pruitt met Wednesday with Mr. Trump at Trump Tower. We strongly urge Senators, who are elected to represent and protect the American people, to stand up for families across the nation and oppose this nomination.

Associated Press writer Sean Murphy reported from Oklahoma City.

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