Trump Picked a Guy Who Loves Fossil Fuels to Run the EPA

As Oklahoma's attorney general, Scott Pruitt has spent a lot of time suing the very department he might soon be running.
December 7, 2016, 7:21pm

Despite that meeting with Al Gore earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump is still acting like a man who does not believe in or care much about climate change. By Wednesday afternoon, he'd settled on Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt—a tried and true friend of the fossil fuel industry—to head the EPA, the New York Times reports.

Since 2010, the Republican lawyer has used his position as Oklahoma's top prosecutor to fight President Obama's climate change regulations. He's been a party to suits against the EPA more than once and helped form an alliance with top energy companies to fight against new environmental rules. He's still involved in a lawsuit aimed at bringing down the president's Clean Power Plan, which will likely be heard by the Supreme Court.

Assuming he's confirmed as head of the EPA, Pruitt will be tasked with regulating the very companies he's sought to protect, like Continental Resources and Devon Energy. In return, some have helped power his political career. While Pruitt wouldn't be able to immediately overturn Obama's climate change rules on his own, he may erode them over time.

A few Democrats have already condemned the pick, and major environmental groups came out swinging when it was reported Wednesday.

"Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the US Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.