Trump picks climate-change denier to head EPA

By Laurie Bennett

December 8, 2016 at 11:22am

One can only imagine who the nominee might have been if Donald Trump had not met with Al Gore on Monday.

Despite the arguments the former vice president surely made about saving the planet, the president-elect chose a climate-change denier to head the the Environmental Protection Agency.

His choice, Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt, is a longtime advocate for the fossil-fuel industry and litigious critic of government policies intended to slow global warming. (Billionaire Harold Hamm, who made his fortune in oil and gas chaired Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.)

In an opinion piece published by the National Review in May, Pruitt argued described global warming as a debate “far from settled.”

Perhaps Trump’s chat with Gore was just a fond indulgence of his daughter, Ivanka, who arranged the meeting. But in the end, it came across as an obscene gesture to the failed presidential candidate who won a Nobel Prize for his environmental work.

Given Trump’s TV addiction, maybe it wasn’t such much a f— you to Gore and his politically incovenient truths as to the Weather Channel, which on Tuesday criticized Breitbart for misleading Americans about climate change.

Breitbart’s former chairman, Steve Bannon, is Trump’s top adviser, and the incoming administration has already shown its penchant for vengeance.

Trump’s transition team, on which Bannon also sits, issued a press release Thursday, describing Pruitt as “an expert in constitutional law” who would bring “a deep understanding of the impact of regulations on both the environment and the economy.”

The release quoted Trump as saying: “For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn.”

Pruitt, he said, “will reverse this trend and restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe.”

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