Scott Pruitt

The EPA & Climate Change Denial

May 22, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has been trying for over a year to roll back multiple Obama-era policies including the storage of toxic waste produced by power plants. Many of his proposals have been met with litigation and lawsuits that have stalled the process. 

Today, we consider the steps Scott Pruitt has taken to change environmental policy as well as the role climate change denial has in the United States.

As allegations mount of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violating ethics policies and misusing taxpayer money, President Trump has repeatedly defended him. "Scott is doing a great job!" he said in one tweet.

Pruitt is one of the administration's most high profile members, and is often lauded as one of its most effective.

"Administrator Pruitt has fearlessly executed President Trump's regulatory reform agenda, there's no doubt about that," says Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

The nation's top environmental official kept busy Wednesday trying to clean up his own reputation, while a White House spokeswoman offered only a tepid defense.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is fending off multiple accusations that he misused taxpayer funds and maintained improper ties to companies regulated by the EPA.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Robyn Wilson, associate professor of risk analysis and decision science at The Ohio State University, had served on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board for nearly two and a half years when she received a request to step down. The problem, it seemed, was the fact her research had been funded by an EPA grant. 

FirstEnergy

The Ohio EPA is welcoming word that U.S. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt wants to repeal the national power plant emissions regulations written during the Obama Administration.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will scuttle an Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, made the announcement in Hazard, Ky., on Monday, saying the rule hurt coal-fired plants.

"The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy," Pruitt said, speaking at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Editor's note, Aug. 10: An earlier version of this story said the draft climate report had been leaked by The New York Times, which has since updated its coverage to reflect that a version of the report was made available by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January.


A draft government report on climate says the U.S. is already experiencing the consequences of global warming. The findings sharply contrast with statements by President Trump and some members of his Cabinet, who have sought to downplay the changing climate.

President Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a major cause of global warming.

"I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Scott Pruitt said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen.

Future of the EPA

Mar 2, 2017
EPA Director Scott Pruitt at the 2016 CPAC Conference in National Harbor, MD.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Scott Pruitt, who sued the Environmental Protection Agency over a dozen times while he was attorney general of Oklahoma, is now the director of EPA. Environmental activists are worried that his ties to the fossil fuel industry may affect his decision-making in the position. Additionally, President Donald Trump has vowed to drastically cut environmental regulations and the EPA's budget. Today we'll discuss what environmental protection policies may look like under the new administration with a panel of guests. 

Guests:

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you're not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

Rob Portman speaking
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

The Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio says he’s already talked to President Elect Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, who's controversial to some activists.

A live stream of this confirmation hearing is available via C-SPAN.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been among the most controversial picks for Donald Trump's Cabinet. In part, that's because the Environmental Protection Agency nominee has said things like this: