Today, Trump’s nominee for EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, will testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Pruitt is the latest in a series of highly concerning cabinet picks by Trump. We’ll need to stand together to block this appointment.
Last week, we released research on Trump’s cabinet nominees’ ties to the oil and gas industry. The results, while disturbing, shouldn’t surprise you: Senator Jeff Sessions, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, among others, all have significant financial and personal connections to some of the biggest companies in the oil and gas industry. Now, we’ve done more digging into Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nefarious relationships with corporations like Devon Energy and Continental Resources:
The campaign contributions and support he’s received should cast serious doubt on his ability to carry out his job as EPA Administrator fairly. Pruitt’s disdain for the agency he’s being vetted to oversee is no secret: he is a self-described advocate “against the EPA’s activist agenda.” He has bragged about suing the EPA in multiple instances, and now he is slated to run it. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt’s shown he cares more about his industry buddies than the health and safety of the people. He even submitted a letter drafted by Devon Energy to the EPA, questioning the federal estimates of air pollution caused by gas drilling in Oklahoma. With a track record like that, we can expect even closer ties between the federal government and big oil and gas companies.
But Pruitt’s efforts to undermine the agency he’s slated to lead don’t end with his cozy relationships to big name polluters. In 2012 and 2013, while he was the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt was the chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). And in 2014 to 2015 he sat on their executive committee. Their mission? To elect Republicans as state attorneys general.
Indeed, Pruitt was part of an effort to combat the 17 state Attorneys Generals standing up to Exxon and other energy companies’ climate deception. And in 2014 the New York Times exposed that he and other Republican Attorney Generals were involved in an a “secretive alliance” with energy companies to “push back” on the Obama Administration’s regulations. If you take a closer look at RAGA’s funding, the names you’ll see shouldn’t surprise you: between 2014 and 2016, corporations like Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Devon Energy have all contributed to support their mission.
It’s clear Scott Pruitt’s nomination for EPA Administrator only makes sense if we want a toothless EPA that will do nothing to stop oil and gas giants like Exxon from destroying our planet. If you want someone who will look out for us, not his oil and gas buddies, tell your senators to stand up against this appointment.