The EPA of OIL

Jonathan Asphaug, Writer

Three days ago, the senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA. A climate skeptic against a pollution solution.

What is the EPA?

The EPA is an agency of the federal government enacted by Republican president Richard Nixon, along with several environmental protection acts enacted in his 4th and 5th years as president. It was created to protect the land, air, and water of the US to keep the public lands and national parks and forests healthy and clean. The EPA has been instrumental in keeping the US full of clean lands, but many people believe have recently been abusing their power, and increasingly asking for funds with less payback than the funding should get.

First of all, Who is this Pruitt?

Edward Scott Pruitt is an American lawyer and Republican politician from the state of Oklahoma. Pruitt represented Tulsa and Wagoner Counties in the Oklahoma Senate from 1998 until 2006. In 2006, Pruitt launched an unsuccessful campaign to receive the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. In 2010 Pruitt was elected Attorney General of Oklahoma. In this role, he has supported religious freedom laws and has fought against abortion rights, gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and environmental regulations. On February 17, 2017, the Senate officially confirmed Pruitt, by a vote of 52-46, to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

What does his confirmation mean for the EPA?

Scott Pruitt has in the past fought vehemently against environmental regulations including but not limited to:  suing to block the anti-climate change Clean Power Plan four times, challenging mercury pollution limits twice, ozone pollution limits once, as well as fighting the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Clean Water Rule. He has attempted many times to block pollution limit regulations, and has worked closely with members of the large fossil fuel businesses. He has however stated that “the climate is changing, and human activity contributes to that in some manner.” Many people are concerned that Mr. Pruitt will not be using his office in the interest of Environmental protection, and will be a corporate sellout to large oil and natural gas companies. Particularly concerned about this is Senator Bernie Sanders, who had a heated debate with Mr. Pruitt during his hearing.

What will happen?

We really have no idea what Mr. Pruitt will do regarding his duties in the EPA. We can guess that he will most likely repeal many federal pollution limits, withdraw the US from the Paris Climate agreement, and most likely refuse to accept international sanctions agreed on by the UN. Only time will tell if Scott Pruitt will be a corporate sellout to big oil, or attempt to make the EPA more efficient and use less taxes, allow states some choice in how they choose to implement restrictions, and attempt to find cheap, clean, alternative fuels and energy sources.