A political meltdown caused by the Trump selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the EPA has caused rising tides of despair for climate alarm-premised green activist lobbies and energy subsidy seekers.
And just who is this scary guy?
Is he a radical shill for powerful fossil fuel lobbies who will set the planet on fire to advance greedy capitalist profit agendas? An anti-environmental land, water, and air polluter who holds grudges against oil field prairie chickens and overheated polar bears?
Attorney General Pruitt is the chief legal officer of a major oil state who has led repeated legal fights against the organization he will soon head. An important example is a victorious 28-state effort resulting in a Supreme Court stay on the Obama Administration’s centerpiece Clean Power Plan (CPP) that is aimed at shutting down America’s coal industry.
Congress had previously turned down Obama’s request to pass supporting CPP legislation.
Scott Pruitt and other Republican AGs continue to challenge EPA attempts to regulate wetlands, including farm ponds, as “navigable waterways” through obscenely contorted interpretations of the Clean Water Act.
They are also pushing back on a group of Democratic attorneys general and powerful green activist organizations who have charged ExxonMobil with holding back decades of internal top secret knowledge that climate actually changes.
As he stated in an op-ed coauthored with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. [Accordingly], that debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress.”
As a seasoned and savvy lawyer, Pruitt can be expected to get EPA out of the “sue and settle” schemes involving closed-door, backroom, pre-negotiated legal filings by environmental organizations charging a federal agency with not issuing or enforcing rules both want enacted.
Both colluding parties then quietly settle their bogus differences in friendly cherry-picked courts so that new rules or powers are imposed without influence of state and public entities who inherit resulting cost and enforcement burdens.
A year-long congressional House of Representatives investigation has revealed that the Department of Justice has been pushing, and even requiring, pseudo-defendants to donate money to lobbying non-victim third parties out of a “settlement fund” at double the dollar-for-dollar settlement credit of direct relief extended to consumers.
Above all, Scott Pruitt is a federalist who is devoted to restoring a constitutionally mandated balance between state and federal government roles and relationships.
As such, he understands that America is a federal republic comprised of 50 states who are partners, not indentured serfs of a national government beholden to one-size-fits-all command and control environmental requirements and strategies.
Immedately following his 2010 election as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt established a “federalism unit” within his department to force the federal government to follow the law. The Jeb Bush presidential campaign then tapped him to head its “Restoring Federalism Task Force.”
Terminal defeat of the Clean Power Plan . . . an unconstitutional EPA regulatory power grab which obliterates guaranteed vertical separation of state and federal powers altogether . . . remains a central priority.
If implemented, the CPP scheme will enable EPA to parcel out specific state-by-state CO2 emission reduction targets they consider achievable based upon their own estimates of the maximum amount of energy shifting that the nation’s power grids can accommodate.
States are then mandated either to prepare plans regarding how they will meet these targets, or have EPA do this for them.
Whereas previous greenhouse gas regulations have focused upon reductions for particular facilities, the CPP essentially forces shifts from EPA-disfavored facilities (coal-fired plants) to expansion of those EPA prefers (natural gas/renewables).
Congress has never passed a climate law, or one intentionally devised to oppose growth and development. Even the EPA admits that such mandates will have no detectable impact on climate whatsoever.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) estimates that all of this unnecessary regulatory pain asserted under authority of the 1970 Clean Air Act which Congress never intended for “climate pollution” will reduce temperatures only about 0.0015º C by the year 2100.
As appellate and constitutional attorneys David Rivkin, Jr., and Andrew Grossman observe in a September 26 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, the Clean Power Plan implicates every evil associated with unconstitutional commandeering:
“It dragoons states into administering federal law, irrespective of their citizens’ views. It destroys accountability by directing the brunt of disapproval for increased electricity costs and lost jobs onto state officials, when the federal government deserves the blame.
“And it subverts the horizontal separation of powers, by allowing the executive branch to act where Congress has refused to legislate.”
So finally, what qualifies President-elect Trump’s announced pick to “restore EPA’s essential mission”?
In short, the new administrator Scott Pruitt brings an essential breath of fresh air to EPA.