President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt, the Republican attorney general of Oklahoma to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has led litigation against Obama’s landmark climate rule for power plants, as well as water regulations and standards for ground-level ozone pollution, haze, methane and more.
As EPA head, Pruitt would help carry out Trump’s campaign promises to repeal Obama’s entire executive climate change agenda, including the Clean Power Plan, which the president-elect said he will target in his first 100 days in office.
Trump also wants to repeal the Clean Water Rule, roll back rules on fossil fuel production, review all existing regulations for potential repeal, put a moratorium on nearly all new regulations and require that two rules be repealed for every new rule put in place.
The Clean Power Plan is the centerpiece of Obama’s climate push, ordering a 32 percent cut in the energy sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Pruitt and his fellow GOP attorneys general succeeded in convincing the Supreme Court to put an unprecedented pause on the rule earlier this year.
Pruitt has also been a key figure in fighting the Clean Water Rule, also known as Waters of the United States, which asserts federal jurisdiction over small waterways like wetlands and streams. Opponents of the rule believe it usurps the state’s authority over its land and water use, and triggers numerous and costly obligations under the Clean Water Act for the state and its citizens. States and companies challenging the water rule also succeeded in convincing a federal court to block its implementation while it is litigated.
Pruitt previously served eight years in Oklahoma’s Senate, where he was elected to GOP leadership. He’s been a private lawyer, an owner of a minor league baseball team and ran for the U.S. House of Representatives unsuccessfully in 2002. (The Hill, 12/7/2016)