President-elect Trump met with global warming proponent Al Gore on Monday, giving liberal activists a glimmer of hope that his environmental policies will moderate somewhat from his campaign pledge to scrap President Obama’s climate change policies. But on Monday, Trump dashed their hopes by choosing to nominate an outspoken critic of the EPA and noted climate change skeptic to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Via Fox News:
Word of Trump’s choice for the Environmental Protection Agency came as the president-elect also named Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as his pick for ambassador to China and asked retired Gen. John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Trump announced late Wednesday as well that he’ll nominate Linda McMahon, former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, as administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Pruitt may be the most controversial pick of the four.
Pruitt, 48, has been a reliable booster of the fossil fuel industry and a critic of what he derides as the EPA’s “activist agenda.”
Representing his state as attorney general since 2011, Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA to roll back environmental regulations and other health protections. He joined with other Republican attorneys general in opposing the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to limit planet-warming carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Pruitt has argued that curbing carbon emissions would trample the sovereignty of state governments, drive up electricity rates, threaten the reliability of the nation’s power grid and “create economic havoc.”
His installment, if confirmed, would mark a significant break with the current EPA approach toward global warming.
In an op-ed published earlier this year by National Review, Pruitt castigated the group of Democratic attorneys general who had announced in March that they would criminally investigate oil and gas companies that disputed the science behind man-made global warming.
We won’t be joining this coalition, and we hope that those attorneys general who have joined will disavow it. Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. 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.
The Democrats’ climate inquisition completely unraveled by the end of August, but the fact that they even tried to criminalize dissent was outrageous and chilling.
Pruitt also filed court briefs in May with five other attorneys general, saying that the president unlawfully blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline project. And in 2014, he sued the EPA over the agency’s expansion of water bodies regulated under the federal Clean Water Act.
“Respect for private property rights have allowed our nation to thrive, but with the recently finalized rule, farmers, ranchers, developers, industry and individual property owners will now be subject to the unpredictable, unsound and often byzantine regulatory regime of the EPA,” Pruitt said last year.
Progressive heads, as you might imagine, are exploding.
Here are some headlines from some non-“fake news” outlets today:
Politico: “Trump to pick oil ally Pruitt to head EPA”
(They say that like it’s a bad thing…)
American NewsX: “Get Ready To Choke On America’s Filthy Air…”
The New York Times originally went with, “Donald Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Ally of Fossil Fuel Industry” but later changed their headline to something less obnoxious:
Breaking News: Donald Trump has selected Scott Pruitt to run the EPA https://t.co/jJTukQY8yB
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 7, 2016
Left-wing politicos had much the same reaction on Twitter:
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 7, 2016
Trump's nominee to lead EPA, Scott Pruitt, is a climate denier who's worked closely with the fossil fuel industry. That's sad and dangerous.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 7, 2016
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) December 7, 2016
Former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer had perhaps the best reaction.
At the risk of being dramatic. Scott Pruitt at EPA is an existential threat to the planet
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) December 7, 2016
Having fun yet kids?