President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly appointing Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the Washington Post and several other news outlets. Pruitt is a head-scratcher of a choice as the state attorney general has been a fierce opponent of the EPA. In fact, he’s actually quite busy suing it at the moment.
Trump has often flip-flopped on the issue of climate change throughout the transition. At times it appears he believes it, whereas the New York real estate mogul sometimes comes out and calls it a hoax. Yet Pruitt’s alleged appointment to the EPA may be a clue as to how Trump’s White House will deal with the topic. It may also signal whether or not they will repeal any of President Barack Obama’s environmental policies.
Pruitt is a fierce proponent of the energy industry and has gone after the EPA’s efforts to curtail its production of greenhouse emissions. He’s even a part of a group of state attorneys general who are suing the Obama administration over its Clean Power Plan, which aimed at reducing the electricity industry’s greenhouse gas emissions across the country. Pruitt once described the plan to Reuters as a “coercion and commandeering” of energy policy. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the only EPA lawsuit Pruitt has under his belt, as he’s also going after the agency’s agenda to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
According to BuzzFeed, Pruitt doesn’t seem so keen on climate change — as evidenced in an op-ed he wrote for the Tulsa World last May. In the article, he claimed carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels was a debated topic: “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”
Whether or not Pruitt gets the EPA job, the Washington Post notes Obama’s policies ultimately may not be done away with since many of the Clean Power Plan’s objectives are working just fine and remain in force.