President-elect Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the next Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator last week.
The move was cheered by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who has spent much of her tenure suing the EPA to keep many of its Obama-era regulations from going into effect.
Rutledge said in a statement:
Attorney General Pruitt has been a leader in fighting the overregulation that has been coming from the EPA for many years. I am confident that my friend, mentor, and partner in this fight to combat unlawful regulations, General Pruitt, will be a great fit to bring much needed reforms to the EPA and make sure the agency is acting within the scope of the law. I want to see common sense regulations put in place that not only protect our environment but that allow farmers to feed the world and business owners to grow jobs across Arkansas and the country, and I know General Pruitt will make that happen.
Surprisingly, the move was also cheered by former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat.
McDaniel said in a CNN interview last week:
I know Scott Pruitt. He’s a good man and he’s an honorable man. He and I have differing policy positions on a lot of things. I was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I know that Scott Pruitt will restore a notion of the rule of law to the EPA. Democrats and Republicans around the country alike have been concerned over the last few years about how the EPA has pushed regulations without always necessarily having them rooted either in their legal authority, the legal process or sound science. A lot of litigation between the states has had to unfold over the last several years. Scott is well aware of that. He’s led some of it. I participated in some of it when I was still the Democratic Attorney General of Arkansas. I know that Scott will bring a lot of experience in finding real world solutions.
Not all of our friends on the left side of the political spectrum took the Pruitt announcement as well as McDaniel. For example, Dan Pfeiffer, former senior advisor to President Obama, tweeted that “at the risk of being dramatic…Scott Pruitt at EPA is an existential threat to the planet.”
While I’m fairly certain our planet will be just fine, I think it’s correct to say that Pruitt is an “existential threat” to many of the job-killing regulations that have been handed down by the EPA in recent years in the pursuit of questionable benefits to the environment.
Trump ran and won on a policy platform of rolling back regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), that will lead to huge utility cost increases for average Arkansans.
His selection of Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma Attorney General sued the EPA over these same regulations, is a good indication that Trump is serious about delivering on these political promises.