Environmentalists have been furious since Donald Trump named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Deemed a “climate change denialist” by The New York Times, many major news outlets have been fueling public opinion that Pruitt will be the worst thing to ever happen to the EPA.
In December, The Washington Post accused Pruitt of spending a huge part of his time as attorney general fighting the EPA. Continuing the pattern, a January Huffington Post headline read “Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Would Trash Air and Water Safeguards.”
Despite the outcry, much of this criticism might be unfair. Many believe the media is painting Pruitt in an unfair light — and they might be right.
Scott Pruitt Could Be an Effective EPA Leader
Contrary to media reports, Pruitt seems to have a level-headed approach to key environmental issues, such as climate change. He famously wrote an article on climate change for the National Journal in May, which has been picked apart and selectively quoted. While many outlets have highlighted portions of the piece that paint Pruitt as a climate change denier, the full text acknowledges both sides of the argument and calls for continued debate.
Former Florida Governor and one-time 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has put his full support behind Pruitt. In December, Bush wrote an opinion piece for CNN detailing his reasons for believing in the controversial pick.
“I cannot think of a person more suited to lead the Environmental Protection Agency than Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, someone who understands how to rein in an out-of-control bureaucracy and ensure that Washington focuses solely on its core functions,” Bush wrote.
Bush went on to share his belief that both he and Pruitt want to limit the authority of the federal government — instead shifting more power to the states. Under Pruitt’s leadership, he believes the EPA will stop stepping out of bounds and find its place as a much more neutral agency.
Only time will tell if Pruitt has what it takes to lead the EPA, but it will be interesting to see what happens when he takes office.
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