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Scott Pruitt, fossil fuel advocate, is Trump's pick to lead EPA

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt gestures as he speaks during an interview in Oklahoma City. (AP/Sue Ogrocki)

President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly chosen Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

The choice of Pruitt, a Republican, to lead the EPA shows Trump's desire to push back on the environmental policies of President Barack Obama with his own.

Pruitt waged a legal battle against Obama’s climate change policy — which makes him an ideal choice to carry out Trump's mission to end the "War on Coal" that he says Obama fought with his anti-global warming "Clean Power Plan." Pruitt may be uniquely able to make sure that Obama-era climate policies are rolled back or weakened.

From the New York Times report:

At the heart of Mr. Obama’s efforts to tackle climate change are a collection of E.P.A. regulations aimed at forcing power plants to significantly reduce their emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution. It will not be possible for Mr. Trump to unilaterally cancel the rules, which were released under the 1970 Clean Air Act. But it would be possible for a legally experienced E.P.A. chief to substantially weaken, delay or slowly dismantle them.

As Oklahoma’s top law enforcement official, Mr. Pruitt has fought environmental regulations — particularly the climate change rules. Although Mr. Obama’s rules were not completed until 2015, Mr. Pruitt was one of a handful of attorneys general, along with Greg Abbott of Texas, who began planning as early as 2014 for a coordinated legal effort to fight them. That resulted in a 28-state lawsuit against the administration’s rules. A decision on the case is pending in a federal court, but it is widely expected to advance to the Supreme Court.

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