President-elect Donald Trump is delivering on his campaign promise to reign in environmental regulations and bring coal miners back to work by selecting Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Pruitt’s nomination goes hand and hand with Trump’s energy policy that seeks to unleash domestic energy production by reducing regulations and expanding natural resource development.
The Oklahoma AG is a vocal critic of the EPA’s regulatory overreach and disagrees with the claim that global warming science is settled. Instead, he believes the relationship between man’s activities and global warming needs vigorous debate.
The selection of Pruitt should allay any fears that Trump was softening his stance on reversing President Obama’s climate change regulations by recently meeting with former Vice President Al Gore.
Key to Trump’s pledge to bring back coal mining jobs, Pruitt is a critic of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule which serves as the foundation of Obama’s climate change agenda.
The CPP seeks to cut carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and it also serves as the regulation that would deliver the U.S. emissions targets promised as part of the United Nations Climate Change Paris Agreement.
Pruitt strongly opposed the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide. He was one of the leaders of a state attorneys general coalition legal fight against the CPP that led to the Supreme Court decision to block the regulation.
The immediate fate of the CPP now rests at a lower court. Regardless of the pending decision, odds are the legality of the rule will be argued again before the Supreme Court.
As head of the EPA, Pruitt — if confirmed by the Senate — would be in a great position to undo or significantly alter the CPP.
In addition to his support of coal, Pruitt is an ardent supporter of hydraulic fracturing — the technology responsible for extracting oil and natural gas from shale rock formations which made the U.S. the world’s leading producer of these fossil fuels.
In his capacity at the EPA, Pruitt could also tackle the agency’s regulations aimed at reducing methane emissions during oil and gas production.
Pruitt’s concerns of EPA overreach also includes the agency’s controversial, “Waters of the U.S.” rule that significantly expanded the federal government’s regulatory reach to include ditches on private land.
During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to address the regulation that he called one of the “most intrusive rules” and Pruitt could execute the new president’s goal to neuter its impact.
The realization that Obama’s environmental agenda is going to be unwound has the Left in a fit of rage. To no surprise Pruitt’s nomination is being blasted by radical environmental groups and Democrat politicians.
The Environmental Defense Fund called Trump’s nomination “deeply troubling,” and the Sierra Club said, “Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires.”
Both groups were critical of Pruitt’s stance on global warming.
Senate liberals are equally outraged. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tweeted, “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.”
Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Pruitt, saying his views “… on climate change couldn’t make him any more out of touch with the American people — and with reality.”
The selection of Pruitt to run the EPA sends a strong signal that Trump intends to deliver on his promise to reduce the regulatory burden on the U.S. economy and deliver on his pro-fossil fuel energy policy.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. As a columnist he has written for Townhall.com, The Washington Times, Newsmax magazine, and also hosts radio programs on SiriusXM Patriot with his wife Deneen Borelli. Dr. Borelli has appeared on numerous television programs on Newsmax TV, Fox News, Fox Business and TheBlaze. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
This article originally appeared on ConservativeReview.com.
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