President-elect Donald Trump's efforts to “drain the swamp” of Washington lobbyists and special interests straight into his White House is continuing at a healthy pace. Wednesday's edition? Trump's choice of a friend of the fossil fuel industry and enemy of the environment to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been an outspoken critic of the agency he’s slated to run, subscribes to the "science-isn’t-settled" brand of climate change denialism, and used his tenure as the Oklahoma's top lawyer to sue the EPA multiple times over its “activist agenda."
Pruitt also joined in the multi-state lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan—President Obama's cornerstone climate plan which would cut harmful emissions in the oil and gas industries—which he condemned as “unlawful and overreaching.”
Moreover, the attorney general is closely tied to the industries he is supposed to regulate. A 2014 investigation by the New York Times found that a letter to the EPA and signed by Pruitt was literally written by energy lobbyists who were pursuing new natural gas drilling opportunities in the state.
In case you haven’t had your fill, Pruitt also aggressively defended the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage and some of the nation’s most draconian anti-abortion laws. In 2012, Pruitt also made sure that Oklahoma was the one state that didn’t sign on for a national settlement over mortgage fraud because of philosophical differences with the feds over the role of government, as one local news outlet reported.
But don't worry, everyone. Ivanka Trump met with Al Gore, so the planet will be fine.