Policy & Politics

Published on December 8th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill

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Donald Trump Picks Scott “Puppet Of The Fossil Fuel Industry” Pruitt As Head Of EPA

December 8th, 2016 by  

Less than two days after Donald Trump met with climate change campaigner Al Gore, the President-Elect has appointed Oklahoma attorney general and “puppet of the fossil fuel industry” to head the country’s Environmental Protection Agency.

So that bodes well.

I wrote yesterday about Donald & Ivanka Trump’s meeting with Al Gore on the subject of climate change — a meeting Al Gore said was “lengthy and very productive session” and “was a sincere search for areas of common ground.” Mr Trump was also the recipient of an open letter from over 800 Earth scientists and energy experts, urging him to prioritize climate change in his administration.

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Scott Pruitt, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

However, it would appear that none of this has meant much of anything to the incoming President, who is set to appoint Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as the next head of the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The unfortunate news, for those who don’t know Mr Pruitt’s resume, is that he is one of the key architects behind a legal battle challenging President Obama’s climate change policies, while out-and-out denying climate change:

“Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” he wrote in National Review earlier this year. “That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”

Scott Pruitt has been an outspoken critic of regulations that protect water and air quality, and has led efforts that would prevent the EPA from being involved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Mr Pruitt was also part of a secret alliance with energy firms that sent a letter to the EPA, written by lawyers from Devon Energy (one of Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas companies), accusing the EPA of severely overestimating the amount of air pollution that is being caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in Oklahoma.

Mr Pruitt’s appointment fits in nicely with Donald Trump’s proposed plans to scrap Obama’s Clean Power Plan and remove America from its Paris Agreement commitments, and goes a long way to cementing the assumption that Donald Trump will continue his attacks against climate change and clean energy when he enters office, while prioritizing the fossil fuel industry in America.

“We are pleased with President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator,” said Paul Bailey, Senior Vice President for Policy of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “General Pruitt will be a strong advocate for sensible policies that are good for our environment, as well as mindful of the need for affordable and reliable electricity.”

“Fossil Fuel Industry Puppet”

Unsurprisingly, Mr Pruitt’s appointment has been met with dismay and scathing criticism.

“You couldn’t pick a better fossil fuel industry puppet,” wrote May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director.

“[As Oklahoma attorney general] Pruitt formed a secret alliance with oil and coal companies to gut our environmental regulations and has defended ExxonMobil’s climate cover-up. This is a man who cares more about the profits of coal company CEOs than the health of our children or the future of our planet.

“Pruitt’s appointment reveals Trump’s climate flip-flopping and meetings with Gore as nothing more than a smokescreen. This is an administration that is dead set on putting polluters ahead of people every single time. The EPA should be limiting carbon pollution and putting the brakes on reckless oil and gas development — not defending Big Oil and putting the planet’s future at risk.”

“This appointment raises serious alarms for all Americans who value rivers and the clean water they provide,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers.

“As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt sued to block the Clean Water Rule, issued by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which restored federal protection under the Clean Water Act to headwater streams and wetlands. Mr. Pruitt has also sued to block EPA’s Clean Power Plan which would reduce pollution that causes climate change and harms rivers.”

“Every family in the United States deserves clean, safe drinking water flowing from their taps. Rivers provide drinking water for 2/3 of Americans. By filing suit to overturn the Clean Water Rule, Scott Pruitt called into question his commitment to protecting clean water for every American.  We hope that Senators will carefully scrutinize Mr. Pruitt’s record on clean water, climate change, and other environmental issues in deciding whether to confirm him to lead EPA.”

“The selection of Attorney General Pruitt, who has consistently questioned climate science and actively fought EPA’s ability to reduce emissions, raises deeply troubling questions,” added Sam Adams, Director, World Resources Institute US. “The critical issue is whether EPA will continue to play its vital role in protecting people’s health and safety in communities across the country.

“Among its many important functions, EPA has a strong track record of protecting the health and welfare of families across America, including providing clean air and water, and reducing emissions that drive climate change. The economic benefits of environmental protection are well-established and the U.S. should continue the momentum toward a strong, clean energy future, not turn back to polluting energy sources.

“Americans depend on EPA to promote human health and protect families and future generations. Its ability to protect air, water, and the climate for all people must continue.”


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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



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