One thing Trump was clear about during the campaign was his plan to dismantle the EPA.
“We are going to get rid of it in almost every form. We’re going to have little tidbits left but we’re going to get most of it out,” he said in the GOP debate on Fox News in March.
To make good on that promise, Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.
Pruitt describes himself as a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda” on his LinkedIn profile. Since taking office in 2011, he has filed several lawsuits against the EPA.
He unsuccessfully sued the EPA over cross-state air pollution. He also lost a fight against EPA over regulations limiting toxic air emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other acid gases from coal-fired power plants.
Pruitt is currently suing the EPA over recently-announced regulations cutting emissions of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the oil and gas industry, along with a coalition of state attorneys general.
Those limits, critics say, would boost electricity rates in some parts of the country and threaten coal production.
Earlier this year, coal-fired energy advocates scored a big win when the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of halting the Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 30% by 2030.
In a radio interview earlier this year, Pruitt accused the Obama administration of acting “outside of the Clean Air Act and other forms of environmental laws to dictate in such a way to be anti-fossil fuel.”
Oklahoma become one of the most oil and gas-intensive states in the nation after the “fracking” boom hit in 2009. As a result of this industry, Oklahoma also has a major environmental problem — earthquakes. More earthquakes now occur in Oklahoma than anywhere else on Earth. They were extremely rare before 2009.