Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has a long history of attacking the EPA over carbon emissions rules.
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a fervent opponent of President Barack Obama’s climate change regulations to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Since becoming Attorney General of oil-rich Oklahoma in 2010, Scott Pruitt has launched a number of lawsuits against rules mandated by the EPA, including a pending challenge to the Clean Power Plan, a central tenant of President Obama’s attempts to combat climate change.
“Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the hen house,” said League of Conservation Voters president, Gene Karpinski. “Time and again, he has fought to pad the profits of Big Polluters at the expense of public health."
President-elect Trump attacked the EPA throughout his campaign, saying its regulations were harming the competitiveness of U.S. industry. He frequently voiced his scepticism about the science behind climate change, as well.
Pruitt’s appointment is consistent with Trump’s campaign promise to rein in the EPA. However, his stance on climate change appears to have softened. Having said he would pull the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement during the campaign, Trump has since said he is keeping an “open mind” on the issue.
Pruitt has not challenged the EPA on its regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks, that run through to 2025. But he has challenged the legality of its ability to set regulations and targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Despite coming under pressure from the auto industry, the EPA last week proposed leaving its emissions targets at the levels set in 2012, when they came into force. Automakers said doing so would unfairly curtail an ongoing review of the feasibility of the rules.
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers CEO Mitch Bainwol said the organization hopes to work with Pruitt to ensure the review “is completed thoroughly and with close attention to achieving a balanced outcome so that we can continue to achieve gains in fuel efficient and carbon reduction while also protecting customer affordability and auto-dependent jobs.”
Source: Automotive News