And the EPA Pick Is…

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

According to reports this morning, the EPA pick will be Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

We’ll hear more about him in the coming days.  For me, the story that sticks out most about him is this one – revealing his history of copying and pasting letters written by fossil fuel lobbyists and sending them under his Oklahoma letterhead.

The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state.

But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma’s biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying.

“Outstanding!” William F. Whitsitt, who at the time directed government relations at the company, said in a note to Mr. Pruitt’s office. The attorney general’s staff had taken Devon’s draft, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature. “The timing of the letter is great, given our meeting this Friday with both E.P.A. and the White House.”

Mr. Whitsitt then added, “Please pass along Devon’s thanks to Attorney General Pruitt.”

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “And the EPA Pick Is…”

  1. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said;
    “….Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state…..”

    Attorney General Scott Pruitt is correct about the EPA which has a lengthy and well documented history of misrepresenting air pollution data and exaggerating impacts. Hopefully, deeply entrenched malpractice within EPA might be remedied under Pruitt’s ethical leadership.

    Mr. Pruitt is good news for those of us who are realistic adapters, but not so good for delusional mitigators. Thanks, we have a lot to be thankful for.

  2. The intellectual class is just as responsible as any group for this failure to protect the environment and democracy, so today we are in denial pointing fingers in all directions instead of at our mirrors.

    Just like Hillary and the DNC, we share the loss of the presidency and both houses of congress, along with SCOTUS, because we marginalized the working class socially, politically, economically, scientifically, and most importantly, educationally.

    And we ignored a most important warning by one of the greatest leaders of the greatest generation by proving that we are just as susceptible to being controlled by the power of money as politicians, as Ike warned in his 1961 Farewell Address:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    We continue to fail the tests of truth and morality that Socrates tried to teach us, failed to do anything to protect the human race before the election, and we continue to have no immediately implementable solutions to save us in time as climate changes rapidly increase out of control.

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About Cara

Cara Horowitz

Cara Horowitz is the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the f…

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