President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has spent much of his energy as attorney general fighting the agency he is being nominated to lead.
For agriculture Pruitt will be a friend and foe. He has been an advocate for the repeal of the WOTUS rule but has not been a strong supporter of renewable energy and the RFS. “We know that in his position as attorney general in Oklahoma, Pruitt has stood up for common-sense, effective regulation that protects the environment and the rights of the regulated community. We have been grateful for his effective legal work in response to EPA’s overreaching Waters of the U.S. Rule,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall in a written statement. “We anticipate that as EPA administrator, Pruitt will listen to our concerns and those of others who work with the nation’s natural resources on a daily basis.”
Growth Energy CEO, Emily Skor, issued a statement reminding Pruitt of the strong support President-elect Trump received from the ethanol industry, “America’s ethanol industry worked hard to help bring President-elect Trump to the White House and continues to support his dedication to ensuring home-gown domestic energy security.”
Pruitt’s official biography calls him “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” He has repeatedly challenged the agency’s rules in court, and he has even sued the EPA for an allegedly cozy “sue and settle” relationship with environmentalists. Conservative columnist George F. Will has called him “one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors,” explaining how Pruitt had been fighting against the Affordable Care Act as well as the administration’s changes to immigration policy.