Trump’s EPA pick makes his intentions on climate change clear

President-elect Trump has selected Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is a close ally of the fossil fuel industry who has been a leader of efforts to block President Obama’s climate change rules.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been picked to head the EPA. Photo: Dylan Hollandsworth for the New York Times

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been picked to head the EPA. Photo: Dylan Hollandsworth for the New York Times

While Trump vacillates in what he says regarding energy and climate change, this move makes his intentions very clear. His administration intends to take apart the rules the Obama administration has put in place to combat climate change, including the Clean Power Plan and US participation in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. According to the New York Times, “It will not be possible for Mr. Trump to unilaterally cancel the rules (in the Clean Power Plan), which were released under the 1970 Clean Air Act. But it would be possible for a legally experienced E.P.A. chief to substantially weaken, delay or slowly dismantle them.”

There is no question where Pruitt stands on these issues.

We have often chronicled on this site that Oklahoma has sided with the oil and gas industry at the expense of local landowners. The state has enacted legislation to take away local control over oil and gas drilling, has been slow to regulate activities that cause earthquakes, and would rather pray for oil companies than regulate them.

But Pruitt has put himself at the forefront of an alliance among state attorneys general, including Montana’s Tim Fox, who are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which are in turn contributing large amounts of money for their political campaigns.

In 2011 Pruitt wrote a letter to the EPA that alleged that federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state. The letter was actually authored by attorneys from Devon Energy, one of the largest natural gas operators in Oklahoma.

In 2013, Tim Fox joined Pruitt and two other state attorneys general in protesting BLM plans to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal land. The Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) later filed suit against Fox for failure to disclose documents related to his support of the protest.

Fox later joined Pruitt in filing suits over the EPA’s Clean Water Rules, EPA Methane Rules, and the Clean Power Plan.

Despite calling climate change a “Chinese hoax,” and railing against the Paris Agreement and the “war on coal,” on the campaign trail, Trump recently told reporters that he had an “open mind” about climate change. Yesterday he met with Al Gore on the subject, giving a bit of hope to those who care about the issue.

Don’t believe it. Actions speak louder than words.

Update 12/7/2016: Here is Scott Pruitt’s tweet on his nomination:




About davidjkatz

The Moses family has lived on the Stillwater River since 1974, when George and Lucile Moses retired and moved to the Beehive from the Twin Cities. They’re gone now, but their four daughters (pictured at left, on the Beehive) and their families continue to spend time there, and have grown to love the area. This blog started as an email chain to keep the family informed about the threat of increased fracking activity in the area, but the desire to inform and get involved led to the creation of this blog.
This entry was posted in Climate change, Politics and History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Trump’s EPA pick makes his intentions on climate change clear

  1. artsyhorselover58 says:


    • davidjkatz says:

      Life is long and the fight never ends. There is a great deal we can do.

      • Lt. Colonel (Retired, Army) Richard Liebert says:

        some good news, citizens fought and compelled Board of Oil and Gas to allow transparency so adjacent landowners are INFORMED about drilling activities, 4-3 vote!

      • davidjkatz says:

        Not entirely good. While notification is great, the rule was in lieu of establishing minimum setbacks. Montana remains one of the only states with no minimum setbacks.

  2. Pingback: Tell Senator Tester what you think about Trump’s cabinet nominees | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  3. Pingback: A limerick for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt | Preserve the Beartooth Front

  4. Pingback: Why is Stillwater County spending tens of thousands of dollars on high priced out of state lawyers? | Preserve the Beartooth Front

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s