In a blistering statement, the state’s top cop said he is “ready to use the full power” of his office to battle Pruitt if he “fails to uphold our nation’s environmental laws.”
Pruitt, a Republican, is currently Attorney General of Oklahoma, where his record on environmental issues, especially climate change, has been abysmal, according to Schneiderman.
Pruitt also has a long history of suing in court to oppose gay rights, same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act and California’s prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens.
On the environment, he opposed stricter regulation on coal-fired plants.
Two years ago, Pruitt was outed by The New York Times for cribbing the text of an energy lobbyist’s letter and passing it off as his own on official Oklahoma state letterhead.
He sent his letter to the EPA arguing that the agency wasn’t properly measuring pollution from natural gas drilling in Oklahoma.
“As Attorney General, Scott Pruitt consistently failed to uphold his responsibility to protect our nation’s air and water, instead acting as an agent of the oil and gas industry – at the expense of the American people – every time,” New York’s attorney general said.
“President-elect Trump’s reported nominee to lead the EPA is a dangerous and unqualified choice,” he added.
With his selection, Trump sent a clear signal that he intends to gut most environmental legislation affecting large corporations and anything related to climate change.
“The science is clear: climate change – and the existential threat it poses to all Americans – is real,” Schneiderman said.
“Yet as Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt not only denied the existence of climate change, but took steps to accelerate its devastating effects on Americans.”
Schneiderman, who successfully suit Trump over his failed Trump University fraud, winning a $25 million judgment, threw down the gauntlet on Pruitt.
“As New York’s top law enforcement officer, I am proud to be leading a coalition of states that is already aggressively fighting back against efforts to reverse the progress this country has made in combating climate change over the past eight years.Under the next administration, we will continue to defend the Clean Power Plan, fight to ensure that the U.S. can meet our obligations under the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and hold the EPA’s feet to the fire on its fundamental responsibility to protect our environment.”
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee must hold hearings on Pruitt’s nomination and the full Senate must approve the selection by at least 60 votes.
Because Senate Republicans hold only a 51-48 edge, Democrats will have to also sign off on his selection.
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