Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denier, To Head E.P.A. Because Of Course
President-elect Donald Trump has decided on Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General and climate change “skeptic”, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. A clear signal to many that Trump may indeed make good on his promise to defund and ultimately dismantle much of the E.P.A. as we know it. Pruitt’s appointment comes a few days after a widely publicized, and encouraging, meeting between Trump and Al Gore at Trump Tower. High hopes of a shift in Trump’s thinking on the issue of climate change have been slashed by this new addition to the Trump team.
In any other world, Pruitt’s appointment would be a strange one. He’s made a career out of suing the E.P.A. to block clean air and water regulations and his deep affiliation with the fossil fuel industry is a main concern among environmental activists. Trump supporters (and donors), however, see this move as a step in the right direction towards abolishing the E.P.A. and federal environmental regulations altogether. Pruitt, an outspoken advocate of states rights, believes states have constitutional rights to control their own levels of pollution. Interestingly, his defense of states rights fall by the wayside when discussing the legalization of marijuana.
Environmental activists around the country are not taking the news of Pruitt’s nomination lightly. Many have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns:
At the risk of being dramatic. Scott Pruitt at EPA is an existential threat to the planet
Trump's nominee to lead EPA, Scott Pruitt, is a climate denier who's worked closely with the fossil fuel industry. That's sad and dangerous.
Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier, has spent entire career fighting against clean U.S. water & power. Unbelievably bad choice for @EPA
EPA nom Scott Pruitt stands with big oil & climate deniers, not American families who fight for #CleanAir & #CleanWater
Sometimes 'puppet of industry' is a metaphor. Sometimes it's literal. Meet Scott Pruitt, new head of the EPA https://t.co/twWQTZv9KK
Very bad news for planet Earth and climate change. https://t.co/3Gj8webWsK
What this news means for the fight against climate change remains to be seen — but it’ll likely do nothing to help calm the 64% of Americans that are worried about global warming and its impending dire consequences.
President-elect Trump is expected to name his choice for Secretary of State next week. So far, this guy is one of the main contenders for the job.