WASHINGTON – President-elect Trump is naming Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to news reports.
The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“The mission of the EPA and its administrator requires an absolute commitment to safeguard public health and protect our air, land, water and planet. That’s the litmus test. By naming Pruitt, President-elect Trump has flunked. The American people did not vote to return to the country to the dirty old days or to turn a blind eye on dangerous climate change. If confirmed, Pruitt seems destined for the environmental hall of shame, joining the likes of Anne Gorsuch Burford and James Watt, two disastrous cabinet officials in the 1980s.”
On Monday, NRDC’s president addressed Pruitt’s record in a blog post about potential Trump nominees. She wrote:
“Over the past five years, Pruitt has used his position as Oklahoma’s top prosecutor to sue the EPA in a series of attempts to deny Americans the benefits of reducing mercury, arsenic, and other toxins from the air we breathe; cutting smog that can cause asthma attacks; and protecting our wetlands and streams.
“Pruitt sent the EPA a 2014 letter asserting that the agency was overestimating the air pollution from drilling for natural gas in Oklahoma. It turned out the letter was actually written by lawyers for one of the state’s largest oil and gas companies, Devon Energy, the New York Times reported. The story named Pruitt near the center of a ‘secretive alliance’ among energy firms, other corporations, and state prosecutors coordinating legal strategy to target federal regulations. And he often boasts of leading other states in challenging the Clean Power Plan in court.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.