Trump taps Oklahoma attorney general, friend to fossil fuels, to run EPA

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Enlarge (credit: Gage Skidmore)

President-elect Donald Trump made his choice for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency today, and that choice is fossil-fuel-friendly Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt was trained as a lawyer before becoming a state senator in 1998 and attorney general in 2011. As attorney general, Pruitt was an active opponent of the EPA. In 2013, he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that he felt the EPA was overstepping its authority in pursuit of an “anti-fossil fuel agenda.”

He has unsuccessfully pursued legal challenges against an EPA decision forcing Oklahoma to apply stricter haze pollution standards to two coal power plants, cross-state pollution rules, standards for mercury emissions, the 2015 clarification of water bodies covered by the Clean Water Act, and the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan that would limit greenhouse gas emissions. He also filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and the Fish and Wildlife Service alleging collusion with environmental groups who had themselves sued to force protection of endangered species.

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