Oil Industry Puppet to Head the EPA

A stenographer for the oil and gas industry (judging from letters Scott Pruitt has written in the past by the literally word-for-word direction of fossil fuels companies), Pruitt is a puppet who will try to run the Environmental Protection Agency how the corporations controlling him want to.

President-elect Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the EPA, putting one of the agency’s most hostile critics and a skeptic of climate change science at its helm, sources close to the transition said Wednesday.

As attorney general for a state that is one of the nation’s biggest oil, natural gas and grain producers, Pruitt has been at the forefront of lawsuits challenging EPA regulations on carbon emissions and water pollution, and he is expected to lead the effort to erase much of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda. Pruitt has also faced accusations that he’s unusually close to energy producers, including a 2014 New York Times story reporting that he and other Republican attorneys general had formed an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” with the industry.

The news of the expected nomination drew sharp criticism from green groups and environmental advocates in Congress, including former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who said he would oppose the “sad and dangerous” move.

“Mr. Pruitt’s record is not only that of being a climate change denier, but also someone who has worked closely with the fossil fuel industry to make this country more dependent, not less, on fossil fuels,” the Vermont senator said in a statement. “The American people must demand leaders who are willing to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.”

Dan Pfeiffer, a former top Obama adviser put it more succinctly, tweeting, “At the risk of being dramatic. Scott Pruitt at EPA is an existential threat to the planet.”

Pruitt has professed skepticism about climate change science, and his selection marks a major turning point for EPA, which even under Republican administrations stretching back to the 1980s has been led by administrators who accepted the scientific evidence that human activity was warming the planet. Pruitt has questioned just how much temperatures have risen, and has been skeptical that man-made greenhouse gas pollution has had an impact.

The vast majority of mainstream scientists agree that human activity is boosting global temperatures and lifting sea levels, and they have called for a rapid cut in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels to avoid the most catastrophic impacts.