He has a long history of suing the EPA, alongside the oil and gas industry

Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who sued the US Environmental Protection Agency to block rules against toxic air pollution, is now the head of the agency.

Pruitt was confirmed in a Senate vote today, 52-46. His ties to climate-change deniers and the fossil-fuel industry (and the 13 lawsuits he has filed alongside oil and gas companies against the EPA) made him a particularly controversial appointee to lead the agency.

“Scott Pruitt represents what we environmental lawyers call an ‘imminent and substantial endangerment’ to our health and environment,” Ellen Spitalnik, a former EPA attorney who served Republican and Democratic administrations from 1980 to 2002, said in a statement. She along with nearly 800 former EPA employees signed a letter opposing Pruitt for administrator. “He threatens the very integrity of EPA and must not be allowed to continue shutting down environmental enforcement, disregarding science, and putting private interests above public good.”

In one scandal, Pruitt received a letter drafted by a major oil and gas company, put his letterhead on it, and sent it to the EPA as an official complaint from the Oklahoma attorney general’s office….


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