Donald Trump has tapped Scott Pruitt for head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Pruitt is my Attorney General. As an Oklahoman, I know him all too well.
When I noticed people across the nation were upset about this news, I thought, “Welcome to our state…you don’t know the half of it.” People were talking about the fact that he’s a climate liar with ties to the energy industry. But Oklahoman’s know there’s a lot more.
Scott Pruitt has been a cozy friend to the energy industry in Oklahoma. In fact, Harold Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company, was a co-chairman of Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.
This connection to Hamm is very concerning. Last year Hamm was caught in a scandal to try and coverup the connection between the oil and gas industry and Oklahoma’s increase in earthquakes.
When the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) came out in agreement with other scientists that there was an earthquake link, between oil and gas activity and earthquakes, state seismologist, Austin Holland, was called to meet with his boss, University of Oklahoma (OU) President David Boren, and oil executives, including Continental Resources Chairman, and major OU donor, Hamm.
While Holland said they hadn’t affected his scientific finds or those of OGS, when pushed about the link between the industry and the earthquake increase at an oil and gas summit, he was quoted as saying, “You don’t understand – Harold Hamm and others will not allow me to say certain things.”
In 2014, Pruitt along with 11 other states sued the EPA over plans to cut carbon emissions. Earlier the same year, he filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to review a lower court decision on the regional haze rule, a rule that Oklahoma and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. (OG&E) was against.
Pruitt also has ties to the Koch brothers. Kochpac, the political-action committee of the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries, has contributed to Pruitt’s campaigns in 2010, 2013, and 2014.
While various Oklahomans are suing energy companies in Oklahoma, including Devon Energy (an oil and gas producer located in Oklahoma), for the damage caused by the increase of earthquakes in Oklahoma. This increase has been shown to be caused by the oil and gas industry. Pruitt was caught sending letters to federal regulators that turned out to be ghost written by industry lobbyists.
“Mr. Pruitt’s office also began to send letters to federal regulators — including the E.P.A. and even President Obama — that documents obtained through open records requests show were written by energy industry lobbyists from companies including Devon Energy. Mr. Pruitt’s staff put these ghostwritten letters on state government stationery and then sent them to Washington, moves that the companies often then praised in their own news releases, without noting that they had actually drafted the letters in the first place.” –Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A.
Scott Pruitt has made crystal clear what he supports in Oklahoma — the energy industry — not the health of our families. He has served industry well and left Oklahomans stuck with expensive damage caused by increased earthquakes, sky high earthquake insurance rates, tax dollars used to sue the EPA, and now we lead the nation in pesticide-related illnesses and deaths.
Will Scott Pruitt’s alliance with the energy industry change if he’s confirmed as head of EPA? His history in Oklahoma says, NO.
Americans didn’t vote for more climate destruction. (Tweet this) Citizens across the nation should urge Congress to reject Pruitt today.