Trump Picks Okla. Attorney General to Lead EPA: Big Win for Climate Realists, Constitutionalists 



republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

“We’re certainly going to draw a line in the sand. This is the
worst-case scenario when it comes to clean air and clean water, to
nominate a climate denier to the agency charged with protecting our
natural resources,” groused Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), expressing
his opposition to President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma
Attorney General Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).

For conservatives, however, it was a home run. Pruitt has fought
President Barack Obama in court on a host of issues, including Obama’s
executive orders on ObamaCare, immigration, and even bathroom use by
transgenders, in addition to his lawsuit against the very agency he is
now slated to head.
Pruitt was a leader in state litigation against Obama’s climate rule
for power plants, and has also challenged the president’s water
regulations and standards for ground-level ozone pollution, haze, and
methane. Trump intends to repeal the Clean Water Rule and generally roll
back rules on fossil fuel production, stating that he will place a
moratorium on new regulations by requiring two rules be repealed for
every new rule created by the EPA.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Environment and
Public Works (EPW) Committee, was likewise incensed at the nomination of
Pruitt, promising to “vigorously” oppose it. Senator Richard Blumenthal
(D-Conn.) also warned he would “fight” against Pruitt, declaring, “I
think he has a record and it will be scrutinized, and there will be
opposition there as a result.”

It is that very record that should reassure conservatives who were
concerned when Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore, perhaps the
most visible advocate of stringent laws to stop “climate change,” which
Gore claims is caused by human economic activity. It also is a setback
to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who essentially agrees with Gore on the
Obama had ordered a 32-percent cut in the emission of carbon dioxide
emissions by the fossil fuel industries (such as oil and gas and coal)
by 2030. Trump called the harsh regulation a “war on coal.” It is
thought that Obama’s draconian rule, which Democratic presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton fully supported, contributed to Trump’s
surprising win in Pennsylvania.
Pruitt said the plan would have shut down numerous coal-fired power
plants in Oklahoma and raised the price of electricity for consumers.
“This is an effort that I think is extraordinary in cost, extraordinary
in scope, and I think extraordinary as it relates to the intrusion into
the sovereignty of the states,” Pruitt charged recently, in commenting
about the rule of Obama’s EPA, which he contends “coerces” states to
reorganize their electricity systems and “commandeer” state resources to
do that.
He states that the rule is clearly unconstitutional. “It’s an
invasion … of the state regulatory domain, and it’s something that is
unique and breathtaking as it relates to the kind of rulemaking the EPA
has engaged in historically.” Pruitt led fellow Republican attorneys
general in getting the Supreme Court to put a hold on the rule earlier
this year.
Another battle taken on by Pruitt was a legal fight against the Clean
Water Rule of the EPA, sometimes called the Waters of the United
States. It claimed that small waterways such as wetlands and streams are
under federal, not state, jurisdiction. To that claim, Pruitt retorted,
“This regulation usurps the state’s authority over its land and water
use, and triggers numerous and costly obligations under the [Clean
Water] Act for the state and its citizens.” He convinced a federal court
to block its implementation, as well.
Pruitt is also skeptical of the assertions of Gore and others like him on the issue of “climate change.” Writing in the Tulsa World
in May, Pruitt said the debate on global warming “is far from settled”
and that “scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of
global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”
Scott Pruitt was elected attorney general of Oklahoma in 2010 as a
close ally of Oklahoma’s conservative Senator Jim Inhofe. Inhofe is the
outgoing chairman of the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works
Committee, and has written a book, The Greatest Hoax, in
opposition to so-called human-caused climate change. Before his election
as attorney general, Pruitt was part-owner and general manager of the
Oklahoma Redhawks baseball team, and had served in the Oklahoma State
Senate, where he was named a Top Conservative Legislator by the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper.
As attorney general, Pruitt has taken on several causes in support of
limited government and the sovereignty of the states. He filed suit in
federal court in an effort to combat ObamaCare (the Affordable Care
Act). He won in federal court, arguing that the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) did “not have the authority to expand access to subsidies (or
levy penalties) beyond what is clearly written in the law. These issues
are of great importance to the State of Oklahoma because we value our
state’s economic stability and growth, and the rule of law.”
Pruitt was challenging the decision of Obama’s IRS to force Oklahoma
citizens (and those of 33 other states) to be part of ObamaCare, despite
the choice of those states to not set up healthcare exchanges.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court eventually ruled that, even though the
2010 law said the subsidies would come through state exchanges (or if
the state chose, federal exchanges), that it did not matter. Commentator
Dick Morris agreed with Pruitt’s position, explaining that the law had
said tax credits could be given only if a plan was enrolled in through
the exchange established by the state under Section 1311 of the
Affordable Care Act.
Had the Supreme Court sided with Pruitt, it would have crippled the ObamaCare law in Oklahoma and 33 other states.
On the state level, Pruitt told an interviewer with the libertarian
think tank CATO that he does not agree with civil asset forfeiture,
unless it is “post-conviction.”
In the podcast with CATO, Pruitt said he had no trouble with seizing
property of drug dealers used in the drug trade, but that a person
should have to be convicted before permanent asset forfeiture could take
place. “The system we have in Oklahoma is wrong and flawed,” he
He cited the following case, which he called an “egregious” example
of abuse of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. A Kansas resident was
traveling in Oklahoma with a contemporary Christian band, having raised a
large amount of charity money to send to Burma, when he was stopped by a
sheriff’s office in Muskogee County for a broken taillight. Since the
man was carrying $53,000 in cash, the sheriff’s office just presumed it
was drug money and confiscated it. They called in a drug dog, who
alerted that drugs were in the vehicle, though no drugs were ever found.
Pruitt told CATO that the use of drug dogs “can be manipulated.”
Pruitt has even stood up to fellow Republicans in Oklahoma when he
believes they are not following the law. For example, when a state
school superintendent hired three high-level staffers at the Department
of Education without approval from the State Board of Education (as
required by law), using private funds, Pruitt issued an opinion against
the action, even though the superintendent was a fellow Republican. In
Oklahoma, attorneys general may issue “opinions” on the legality of
actions by state officials that are held as a lawful interpretation
unless overturned by a court
“A person cannot perform official duties of a state agency with
compensation paid directly to them by a private person or entity,”
Pruitt asserted. “Only employees and offices of the state who are
authorized by law to do so may perform the official duties of the state,
and those who are authorized may only be compensated as authorized by
With this pick of Pruitt, Trump gives hope that the presidential election indeed made a difference — a positive difference.

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