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Oklahoma leaders react to AG Scott Pruitt nomination to head EPA

OKLAHOMA - President-Elect Donald Trump has tapped Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt has spent a lot of time as Oklahoma’s attorney general, fighting the very agency he’s been nominated to lead.

That’s why some are wondering why he’s been selected, but supporters said Pruitt is exactly the man for the job in an administration that plans to shake up environmental regulations.

Pruitt was at Trump Tower on Wednesday.

He’s currently suing the EPA, along with other attorneys general, over the Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.

“In one form or another, he has been the arch nemesis of the EPA, especially on behalf of the state of Oklahoma, for the last six years,” said Rep. Cory Williams.

In Pruitt’s own bio on our state website, he calls himself “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”

“Unfortunately, the only method he has to challenge is to file a lawsuit, and he has filed to have limited regulations on the states, so that is in align with what Mr. Trump said time and time again on his campaign,” said OKGOP Chair Pam Pollard.

Wednesday, the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association praised Pruitt’s nomination, saying, in part, "We welcome a more regulatory approach at the EPA that will give a voice to all."

The Sierra Club also released a statement, saying, in part, "Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires."

Recently, the EPA asked our state leaders to consider a moratorium on disposal wells in areas where earthquakes are frequent.

That oversight is what some fear will dissipate under a Pruitt-run EPA.

“The oil companies and the insurance companies have gotten to do pretty much cart blanche whenever it comes to not protecting constituents, the property and the environment here in the state of Oklahoma,” Williams said.

If Pruitt’s nomination is confirmed, the governor will appoint a new attorney general.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who was selected as a vice-chair of Trump's transition team last week, released the following statement after the President-elect announced his intent to nominate Pruitt to lead the EPA:

“Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a tireless advocate of the precious balance of power between state and federal governments. In his nearly six years as attorney general, he led the charge to combat the ever-increasing overreach of the Obama administration. I applaud President-elect Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. He will ensure states retain their decision-making policies, instead of having them transferred to the federal government.” - Governor Mary Fallin