epa05651305 Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma, arrives in the...

epa05651305 Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma, arrives in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York, New York, USA, 28 November 2016. EPA/BEHAR ANTHONY/ POOL Credit: EPA/BEHAR ANTHONY/ POOL

President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency has raised eyebrows [“Building his team,” News, Dec. 8].

Some environmentalists are in a panic. This is due in part to Pruitt’s troubling history with the EPA. As attorney general, he joined several lawsuits to oppose federal environmental regulations, most recently the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. That’s the Obama administration’s key policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector.

Pruitt is seen as an ally of the fossil fuel industry. What’s worse, Trump has called the Clean Power Plan a “war on coal,” and he said in May that he plans to cancel the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate change accord.

What causes further concern is that Pruitt has established his position as a climate change denier.

Environmentalism is a social justice issue. If Pruitt has any intention of dismantling the EPA for the sake of saving a buck on behalf of fossil fuel industries, or because he believes human industry has minimal impact on the environment, then we risk the safety of our planet and the health of everyone and everything that lives in it.

Sean O’Hara, Glen Head


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