Oklahoma Governor Applauds Pruitt Nomination To Lead EPA

NY attorney general Eric Schneiderman described Mr Pruitt as "a risky and unqualified choice for EPA", and vowed to "aggressively" fight back against any attempts to reverse progress on climate change.

Scott Pruitt Attorney General of Oklahoma arrives to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 7, 2016.

In a statement, Trump says Pruitt will be a "powerful advocate" for protecting the environment, while also promoting "jobs, safety and opportunity".

This post has been updated.

"I greatly appreciate the leadership Attorney General Pruitt has shown in suing to stop the EPA's Clean Power Plan", said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) as quoted by Bloomberg, "and look forward to watching him dismantle it piece by piece as EPA administrator". Indianapolis lobbyist Patrick Pfingsten says Pruitt's position on the Renewable Fuel Standard is a cause for concern.

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The story went on - and on - to point out how Pruitt is an "ally" of the energy industry, and has criticized the EPA and its "unwarranted regulation and systematic overreach".

Meanwhile other industry representatives expressed support of Trump's EPA nomination.

"Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires", said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. In response, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman vowed to "use the full power" of his office to use the law to "compel" the enforcement of environmental laws under Trump.

Writing in the conservative magazine National Review, Pruitt questioned "the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind", adding that in the scientific community the "debate is far from settled".

Although Trump said in 2013 that climate change was a "hoax invented by the Chinese", it seemed as though he had softened his stance more recently in saying that he was keeping an "open mind" about the relationship between humans and climate change.

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Pruitt has battled the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which requires every state to decide how best it will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the climate-change gas emitted when fossil fuels are burned.

"Respect for private property rights have allowed our nation to thrive, but with the recently finalized rule, farmers, ranchers, developers, industry and individual property owners will now be subject to the unpredictable, unsound and often byzantine regulatory regime of the EPA", Pruitt said past year. This stance aligns with statements made by Donald Trump during his campaign, who tweeted in 2012, "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make USA manufacturing non-competitive".

Trump also met this week with former Vice President Al Gore, who for years has called global warming a threat to humanity.

Environmental groups reacted to the news with outrage.

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