Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, an avid climate change denier, fossil fuel supporter, and collaborator with oil and gas companies, has been selected to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
In May, Pruitt adamantly denied global climate change’s disastrous impacts, writing for the National Review, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”
Pruitt has made his own dissent clear as he is a self-proclaimed “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” During his time as attorney general of Oklahoma, he led efforts to reverse climate protection and energy renewal initiatives made under the Obama Administration. He has repeatedly sued the E.P.A. and attempted to block regulations on mercury and air toxin standards for power plants, as well as abolish the Regional Haze Rule, which protects the air surrounding national parks.
Pruitt also played a role in stopping the Clear Power Plan, which was brought before the Supreme Court in February and resulted in the blocking of legislation that would have aided in shrinking greenhouse gas pollution coming from power plants. He is a firm believer in expanding state’s rights to make their own decisions on environmental regulations and has made it a staple of his career to do what he can to eliminate federal efforts to save the environment.
Evidence on global climate change as a result of human activity is overwhelming and has gathered wide-spread scientific consensus among leading scientific societies. According to NASA, sea level rise, global temperature rise, the warming of our oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, declining Artic sea ice, ocean acidification and declining snow cover are just a few among the many outcomes and signs indicating rapid environmental deterioration as a consequence of climate change.
Many environmental scientists, activists and American citizens are alarmed by Pruitt’s blatant denial of the environment’s decline and the dire need to take action against global climate change. Ken Cook, the leader of the Environmental Working Group, expressed his concern regarding the selection of Pruitt, stating “It’s a safe assumption that Pruitt could be the most hostile E.P.A. administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history.”