Report: President-elect Donald Trump picks Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead EPA

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower on December 7, 2016 in New York City. Potential members of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet have been meeting with him and his transition team of the last few weeks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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OKLAHOMA CITY – President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a source close to Pruitt has told The Associated Press.

Pruitt met with President-elect Trump last week to discuss the position.

He also met with Trump again today, Pruitt’s office confirmed.

Today, sources told the New York Times and the Associated Press that Trump plans to appoint Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

No word on when the official announcement will be made.

Pruitt has been a booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA’s “activist agenda.”

The 48-year-old Republican also denies that the Earth is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA to roll back environmental regulations and public health protections, including opposing the Clean Power Plan that seeks to limit planet-warming carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

He also filed court briefs in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline project blocked by the Obama administration.

Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe released a statement in support of President-elect Trump’s intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

“I applaud President-elect Trump and his team for choosing Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency,” said Lankford. “Pruitt has served Oklahoma as a tireless defender of justice and law, and I am confident that he will serve America well. I look forward to working with him to restore a balanced approach to regulations and governance that fosters economic growth, advances energy independence and ensures stewardship for the environment. Scott Pruitt knows the difference between a state responsibility and a federal responsibility. The American people deserve an EPA that rejects extreme activism and instead returns to its proper interpretation of environmental law.”

“Scott Pruitt has been a leader and a partner on environmental issues for many years,” said Inhofe. “Pruitt has fought back against unconstitutional and overzealous environmental regulations like Waters of the U.S. and the Clean Power Plan; he has proven that being a good steward of the environment does not mean burdening tax payers and businesses with red tape. In his appearances before the Environment and Public Works committee, Pruitt has demonstrated that he is an expert on environmental laws and a champion of states’ roles in implementing those laws. Scott is thoughtful, experienced and a natural pick for this role. I am pleased with President-elect Trump’s selection and I look forward to working with my fellow Oklahoman in his new capacity.”

Fred Morgan, President and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, released the following statement in regards to General Pruitt’s nomination to the Environmental Protection Agency:

“The State Chamber is pleased with President-Elect Trump’s decision to nominate Attorney General Scott Pruitt to the EPA. While Oklahoma will miss him, we know he will be a strong advocate for appropriate government intervention and push back against federal overreach against businesses. He has faithfully upheld the rule of law in Oklahoma and we know he will do the same in Washington.”

It wasn’t just Oklahoma lawmakers who are praising the appointment. In fact, the Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association also released a statement, saying Pruitt is “exactly what our nation needs.”

“As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt has proven that he is a legal expert, which is exactly what our nation needs at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal regulations have a role to play in protecting commerce and our environment, but over the past few years, we have seen laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act applied far beyond Congress’ original intent. This approach has also undermined the long-standing cooperation between states and the federal government. States are meant to take a leading role in determining environmental standards, and Pruitt has been an ardent defender of this concept. Additionally, many of these regulations, like the Waters of the United States and the Clean Power Plan, have created crippling uncertainty for job creators and are now tied up in the courts for being unconstitutional. We are excited about having an Oklahoman in a prominent role of a Trump administration, and we welcome a more measured regulatory approach at the EPA that will give a voice to all.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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