PRUITT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE MISSION OF THE AGENCY HE WANTS TO LEAD

Washington Post: Pruitt’s Nomination Is “An Assault” On The Administration’s Environmental Legacy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil and gas-intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a move signaling an assault on President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

New York Times: Pruitt Pick Signals Determination To Dismantle Efforts To Counter Climate Change.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

New York Times: Pruitt Has Sued The EPA 14 Times Out Of Allegiance To The Energy Industry.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “It was one of a series of instances in which Mr. Pruitt put cooperation with industry before confrontation as he sought to blunt the impact of federal environmental policies in his state — against oil, gas, agriculture and other interests. His antipathy to federal regulation — he sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times — in many ways defined his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

Washington Post: “Pruitt Has Spent Much Of His Energy As Attorney General Fighting The Very Agency He Is Being Nominated To Lead.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt has spent much of his energy as attorney general fighting the very agency he is being nominated to lead.  He is the third of Trump’s nominees who have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Has Sued The EPA Several Times Over Their Attempts To Regulate Energy Policy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt, who has written that the debate on climate change is ‘far from settled,’ joined a coalition of state attorneys general in suing over the agency’s Clean Power Plan, the principal Obama-era policy aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. He has also sued, with fellow state attorneys general, over the EPA’s recently announced regulations seeking to curtail the emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from the oil and gas sector.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Said He Was “A Leading Advocate Against The EPA’s Activist Agenda.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “On his Linked In page, Pruitt boasts of being ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.’”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Argued That The EPA Had Very Little Regulatory Authority.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In an interview with The Post in September, as a D.C. federal appeals court was preparing to hear arguments over the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt detailed why he has remained a leading opponent of the EPA’s efforts to curb carbon emissions by regulating power plants. ‘What concerns the states is the process, the procedures, the authority that the EPA is exerting that we think is entirely inconsistent with its constitutional and statutory authority,’ he said at the time.  Agencies such as the EPA, he said, should not be trying to ‘pinch hit’ for Congress.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Fought To Limit Federal Regulation Of Water Pollution.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt has also fought to limit the scope of the federal government in regulating pollution of rivers under the Waters of the United States rule.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Started Working To Fight Climate Regulations Before They Were Even Finalized.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Although Mr. Obama’s climate rules were not completed until 2015, Mr. Pruitt and a handful of other attorneys general began planning as early as 2014 for a coordinated legal effort to fight them. That resulted in a 28-state lawsuit against the administration’s rules. A decision on the case is pending in a federal court, but it is widely expected to advance to the Supreme Court.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Began Making The Legal Case Against Emission Goals The Day Targets Were Announced.  In December 2016 National Public Radio’s State Impact reported, “When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week proposed new rules to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — predictably — blasted the plan as another example of federal overreach in the Obama Administration’s war on fossil fuels.  And the same day the EPA announced its CO2 emission goal, Pruitt was already making a case for litigation over it.”  [State Impact, 06/12/14]

New York Times: Pruitt “Formed An Alliance” With Energy Companies To Fight Regulation.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt, 48, is a hero to conservative activists, one of a group of Republican attorneys general who formed an alliance with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda. Fossil fuel interests greeted Mr. Trump’s selection with elation.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

PRUITT REPEATEDLY QUESTIONED CLIMATE SCIENCE

Pruitt Said Debate Over The Existence Of Climate Change Should Be Encouraged.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “’Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,’ he wrote in National Review earlier this year. ‘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.’”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Allowed Energy Lobbyists To Ghost Write A Letter From Him Questioning Air Pollution Estimates.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 2014, the New York Times reported that a letter ostensibly written by Pruitt alleging that the agency overestimated air pollution from natural gas drilling was actually written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of the state’s largest oil and gas companies.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

CNN: “Pruitt Has Consistently Denied The Scientific Consensus On Global Warming.”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Questioned If Global Warming Was “True Or Not.”  In December 2016 CNN reported, “’There's a tremendous dispute, as you know, that's going on in the marketplace about how much this global warming trend that the administration talks about, if it's true or not,’ Pruitt said on a October 2016 episode of ‘Exploring Energy.’  ‘Is it truly man-made and is this just simply another period of time where the Earth is cooling, increasing in heat? Is it just typical, natural type of occurrences as opposed what the administration says?’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Said That The Consensus Of Climate Scientists Isn’t “True Science.”   In December 2016 CNN reported, “He continued, ‘What people don't realize is that what the scientists have done is input data into a computer and produced modeling as far as the trajectory of what's going to occur. It's predictive in nature. It's speculative in nature. It's not objectively measured, as far as us knowing for sure what's going to occur. Look, I mean, I think there should be a vigorous debate about that. I mean, I think that ... We ought to have true science. We ought to let science be science and let it educate and inform the policy makers on what should and should not occur.’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Framed The Consensus Around Climate Science As A Debate Between Scientists.   In December 2016 CNN reported, “’Fundamentally, from my perspective, it's wrong at its core because the debate about climate change is truly that. It's debate,’ he said. ‘There are scientists that agree. There are scientists who don't agree to the extent of man's contribution, and what's even harmful at this point. We've had ebb and flow. We've had obviously, climate conditions change throughout our history. That's scientific fact. It gets cooler, it gets hotter. We don't know the trajectory, if it is on an unsustainable course. Nor do we know the extent by which the burning of fossil fuels, man's contribution to that, is making this far worse than it is. In fact, studies show in the last decade or so, that carbon emissions are actually down. The United States has done a tremendous amount of work to lower those carbon emissions.’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

PRUITT LAUNCHED A IDEOLOGICALLY MOTIVATED “FEDERALISM UNIT”

Pruitt’s “Federalism Unit” Was Intended To “Combat Unwarranted Regulation And Systematic Overreach.” In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “After he was elected attorney general in 2010, Pruitt established a ‘Federalism Unit’ to ‘more effectively combat unwarranted regulation and systematic overreach by federal agencies, boards and offices,’ according to his online biography.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

New York Times: Pruitt’s Federalism Unit Was “Explicitly Designed” To Fight Obama Priorities.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt may be the right man to do that. As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt created a “federalism unit” in his office, explicitly designed to fight President Obama’s health care law and environmental regulations.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government Over Immigration Policy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “And he has gone on to challenge the administration not just over the environment but over a host of other areas. He joined other Republican attorneys general in a lawsuit over Obama’s immigration policies.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government For Religious Exemptions To Contraception Coverage Mandates In The ACA.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “He has also sued the administration over the Affordable Care Act, saying the health-care mandate on religious employers to provide coverage including contraception was unconstitutional.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government To Stop The Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “He has sued over the Dodd-Frank financial reform.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Was The Lone Attorney General To Opt Out Of A 49-State Settlement With Mortgage Banks.  In February 2012 the Oklahoman reported, “Differences over philosophy of government kept Oklahoma out of the mortgage settlement the 49 other states struck with five national lenders, but the state still will be awarded $18.6 million in damages for borrowers seeking relief from unfair or lawful mortgage servicing practices, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday.”  [Oklahoman, 02/10/12]

PRUITT GAVE THE ENERGY INDUSTRY UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS TO HIS OFFICE

Pruitt Allowed Energy Lobbyists To Send Letters On His Office’s Letterhead To Government Agencies.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “As Mr. Pruitt has sought to use legal tools to fight environmental regulations on the oil and gas companies that are a major part of his state’s economy, he has also worked with those companies. A 2014 investigation by The Times found that energy lobbyists drafted letters for Mr. Pruitt to send, on state stationery, to the E.P.A., the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget and even President Obama, outlining the economic hardship of the environmental rules.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Was Rewarded With Political Favors For Giving Lobbyists Unprecedented Access To His Office.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The close ties have paid off for Mr. Pruitt politically: Harold G. Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company, was a co-chairman of Mr. Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Worked Secretly With Energy Companies To Fight Environmental Regulations.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “But that campaign, once Mr. Pruitt was sworn in, quickly became an opportunity to work secretly with some of the largest oil and gas companies, and the state’s coal-burning electric utility, to try to overturn a large part of the Obama administration’s regulations on air emissions, water pollution and endangered animals, documents obtained by The Times show.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Took The Unprecedented Step Of Jointly Filing Regulatory Suits With The Energy Industry.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt took the unusual step of jointly filing an antiregulatory lawsuit with industry players, such as Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the coal-burning electric utility, and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, a nonprofit group backed by major oil and gas executives, including Mr. Hamm.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Took Campaign Contributions From Many Of The Energy Execs He Worked With.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Behind the scenes, he was taking campaign contributions from many of the industry players on his team, or helping deliver even larger sums of money to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which he became the chairman of.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Stopped A Suit To Clean Up Oklahoma Waters After Taking Tens Of Thousands From The Accused.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma’s bucolic northeastern corner — much of it from neighboring Arkansas — was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general.  His response: Put on the brakes.  Rather than push for a federal judge to punish the companies by extracting perhaps tens of millions of dollars in damages, Oklahoma’s new chief law enforcement officer quietly negotiated a deal to simply study the problem further.  The move came after he had taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from executives and lawyers for the poultry industry.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

Pruitt Took $40,000 From Executives Named In The Clean Water Suit.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “As Mr. Pruitt ran for election, at least $40,000 in contributions poured into his campaign from nearly 30 executives at poultry companies named in the lawsuit or attorneys at law firms representing them, including Mark Simmons, the founder of Simmons Foods; Donald J. Smith, then the chief executive of Tysons Foods; and Gary Weeks, a lawyer listed on the court papers as representing George’s, another company targeted in the lawsuit, according to data assembled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and confirmed by The New York Times. That money represents about 4 percent of the total $1 million he raised in the 2010 campaign, records show.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

13 Of Pruitt’s 14 EPA Lawsuits Involved Co-Parties That Contributed To His Campaign.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “In total, Mr. Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging federal environmental regulations. In 13 of those cases, the co-parties included companies that had contributed money to Mr. Pruitt or to Pruitt-affiliated political campaign committees.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

A Judge Accused Pruitt Of Bringing A Suit On Behalf Of Corporate Farmers.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt joined with Missouri and several other mostly rural states in one federal suit to beat back California’s regulations requiring egg farms, including those in Oklahoma, that wanted to sell in the state to seek more humane treatment of hens. In rejecting the suit, the federal judge admonished the plaintiffs.  ‘The court concludes plaintiffs have not brought this action on behalf of their interest in the physical or economic well-being of their residents in general,’ Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the United States District Court wrote in her 2014 opinion, ‘but rather on behalf of a discrete group of egg farmers whose businesses will allegedly be impacted.’”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]