- Juris Doctor (J.D.), University of Tulsa College of Law (1990-1993). 
- Bachelor's Degree, Political Science and Communications (1990). 
E. Scott Pruitt is the 14th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump Administration. Pruitt formerly served as the Oklahoma Attorney General, a position he held since November, 2010. , , , 
While Attorney General, Pruitt established the “first federalism unit to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government.” Pruitt's profile at The Federalist Society, where he is listed as an expert, notes that Pruitt has been described as “one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors.” He has been a “advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda, and he is leading the charge against the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan and 'Waters of the U.S.' rules for their unlawful attempt to displace state sovereignty in the environmental regulatory context.” , 
According to data from Followthemoney.org, Pruitt has collected at least $345,246 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry since 2002. E&E News writes that Pruitt raised $282,111 from oil and gas interests over four state campaigns. Only lawyers and lobbyists gave more, at $298,717. , 
Pruitt was the subject of a 2014 New York Times investigation titled ”Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General” which described “the unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation's top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.” 
Scott Pruitt has a history of opposing to the EPA. In 2011, after the Obama administration issued Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in order to reduce mercury emissions, Pruitt responded by issuing a number of lawsuits, including one that is ongoing. Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times, including many cases which oppose emissions reductions under the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan. “In all but one of these 14 cases, regulated industry players also were parties. And these companies or trade associations in 13 of these cases were also financial contributors to Mr. Pruitt's political causes,” The New York Times reported. , 
Pruitt's EPA Nomination
Pruitt was confirmed as administrator of the EPA on February 17, 2017. Pruitt's initial committee confirmation vote was to take place on February 1, 2017, but the vote was delayed when Democrats boycotted the planned vote. , , , 
When President-elect Donald Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to serve as administrator of the U.S. EPA, DeSmog how Pruitt's history working with oil, gas, and utility companies could affect his confirmation. , 
In 2015, Pruitt, as Oklahoma's AG, filed suit against the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, the regulation that would curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Assisting Pruitt were attorneys from BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s largest law firms.
“It’s a safe assumption that Pruitt could be the most hostile E.P.A. administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history,” Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group, told the New York Times in December 2016. 
Two of the BakerHostetler attorneys joining Pruitt, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, recently established the Free Speech in Science Project to defend companies and groups over their climate science denial. The group arose shortly after investigations began into ExxonMobil’s knowledge and actions relating to climate change. A few months after the group launched, Pruitt signed a letter, along with other Republican attorneys general, to counter the climate fraud investigations of fossil fuel companies.
Pruitt received strong support for his confirmation from industry groups and think thanks opposing climate change action including The Heartland Institute, American Energy Alliance (AEA), and others. In a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF), numerous groups declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination.” Signatories of the letter included: 
- Thomas Pyle, American Energy Alliance
- Michael Needham, Heritage Action for America
- Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
- Kent Lassman, Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks
- David McIntosh, Club for Growth
- Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
- Craig Richardson, Energy and Environment Action Team
- David Williams, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
- Harry Alford, National Black Chamber of Commerce
- Jim Martin, 60 Plus
- Andrew Langer, Institute for Liberty
- Heather Higgins, Independent Women’s Voice
- Independence Institute
- Richard Martin, Americans for Limited Government
- Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST)
- Brett Healy, MacIver Institute
- Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute
- George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom
- Randy Eminger, Energy Policy Network
- Paul Gessing, Rio Grande Foundation
- Mike Nasi, Balanced Energy for Texas
- Brent Mead, Montana Policy Institute
- Forest Thigpen, Mississippi Center for Public Policy
The Republican Attorneys General Association and the Rule of Law Defense Fund
Pruitt is a former chair and member of The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a secretive group that actively fought against the Clean Power Plan. While the RLDF's funding remains largely unknown, Bloomberg reports that it received funding from Freedom Partners, a group tied to Charles and David Koch. Pruitt stepped down shortly before his selection by Trump to head the EPA was announced and resigned as a board member in December, 2016. , 
According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), The RLDF is a 501(C)(4) organization and is not required to publicly disclose its sources of funding. RLDF was created in 2014 by the Republican Attorneys General Association and shares staff and offices. , 
The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has received almost $4 million in funding from fossil fuel interests since 2014. In 2015, RAGA had secretive meetings with energy companies Murray Energy and Southern Company, which Bloomberg noted coincided closely with large contributions from both energy companies. Shortly after that meeting, Republican attorneys general went on to fight the EPA's Clean Power Plan in court. , 
“Corporations can pay a premium rate RAGA membership fee of up to $125,000 for the privilege of holding private briefings with attorneys general and their staff, as well as attending the annual meeting. The conference provides ample opportunity for attorneys general to directly solicit campaign contributions from corporate representatives during private meetings, informal conversations and leisure activities—like kayaking, a five-hour golf game, and a National Rifle Association-sponsored shooting tournament.”
“The new group, Protecting America Now, warns that Pruitt’s confirmation “is not a certainty” and says that millions of dollars are needed for advertising and social media campaigns to counter anti-Pruitt campaigning from “anti-business, environmental extremists,” according to a flier obtained by POLITICO.
Politico also reported on two other PACs, formed in 2015, both supporting Pruitt. E&E News details the background of Liberty 2.0 and Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC, noting that “The Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC is able to accept limited donations and coordinate with Pruitt, enabling the Oklahoma attorney general to funnel money to preferred political candidates across the country. The downtown Tulsa address is the same as that of Pruitt's campaign office.” 
Two other groups, America Rising PAC and America Rising Squared, also ran ads supporting Pruitt's nomination in red states with Democratic senators and also launched the ConfirmPruitt.com website. 
Scott Pruitt's Fossil Fuel Ties
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
“ALEC is unique in the sense that it puts legislators and companies together and they create policy collectively. The actual stakeholders who are affected by policy aren’t at the table as much as they should be […] Serving with them is very beneficial, in my opinion.”
After becoming attorney general, Pruitt spoke at a number of ALEC events including a 2013 panel titled “Embracing American Energy Opportunities: From Wellheads to Pipelines” and in ALEC's 2014 annual meeting.
Legal Actions against the EPA
Pruitt has filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA, as reported in a review by the New York Times. “In all but one of these 14 cases, regulated industry players also were parties. And these companies or trade associations in 13 of these cases were also financial contributors to Mr. Pruitt's political causes,” The New York Times reported. Case list below: 
- EPA's Regional Haze Rule (2011)
- Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) (2011)
- Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants (MATS) (2012)
- Alleged EPA violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (2013)
- Regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (2014)
- Draft rule of the Clean Power Plan (2014)
- Clean Power Plan (July 2015)
- Clean Power Plan (August 2015)
- Clean Power Plan (June 2016)
- Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants (MATS) (2015)
- Waters of the United States (WOTUS) (2015)
- National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (2015)
- Methane Emissions (2016)
- Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction and Scheduled Maintenance (SSM & SM) State Implementation Plan (2016)
- Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed and Modified Sources (2016)
Stance on Climate Change
Scott Pruitt was questioned on his positions regarding climate change at his EPA confirmation hearing. In response to a question from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Pruitt stated: 
“The climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. It is the ability to measure it and the extent of that impact, and what to do about it that is subject to continued debate and dialogue.”
Later in the hearing, further responding to questions from Sanders, Pruitt proclaimed that his personal opinion on the matter of climate change was “immaterial” to serving as the EPA administrator: 
“I do not believe climate change is a hoax,” Mr Pruitt said.
In his opening remarks, Pruitt stated (see video below):
“Science tells us that the climate is changing, and that human activity in some manner impacts that change. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue, and well it should be.” 
In an article Pruitt co-wrote with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in the National Review, they declared: 
“That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”
In a 2015 Financial Times interview, Scott Pruitt said that humanity’s contribution to global warming was “subject to considerable debate.” After being told that 97 per cent of scientists endorsed the idea that humans had caused climate change, he said: “Where does that fit with the statutory framework? That’s not material at all. So that’s why I don’t focus on it.” 
October 20, 2017
In an interview at the The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting in Washington, Pruitt declared: 
“True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with […]”
November 30, 2017
Speaking at the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit,” co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation, Pruitt said President Donald Trump was “very courageous” for exiting the Paris agreement: 
“There was tremendous pressure brought on the President to stay in that, by the way, for no good environmental reason. It was a bumper sticker. Paris was a bumper sticker. It was not about CO2 reduction. It was about penalizing our own economy. And I could give you some information about that if you’d like, but the President made a very courageous decision to exit.”
September 7, 2017
“Here's the issue,” Pruitt said in the phone interview. “To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced.”
He continued, adding, “What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. […] Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there's the […] place (and time) to do that, it's not now.”
Shortly after, Myron Ebell came to Pruitt's defense, writing at The Hill that “Pruitt is of course absolutely right to focus on government action rather than idle chatter, but that has not dissuaded global warming activists and even some elected officials from trying to take political advantage of these two huge storms to promote their pet cause — policies to limit the use of fossil fuels.” 
May 26, 2016
“The EPA was never intended to be our nation’s foremost environmental regulator. The states were to have regulatory primacy. That construct –a construct put in place by this body – has been turned upside down by this administration. That’s why I’m here today. I’d like to explain to you why I so jealously guard Oklahoma’s sovereign prerogative to regulate in both a sensible and sensitive way.”
Speaking at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) 2014 Annual Meeting, Pruitt declared: 
“Beyond the regional haze case, we have something on the horizon something more troubling. And that’s the proposed rule under 111(d) with respect to CO2 regulation. We have an EPA that is engaged in rulemaking, proposed rulemaking, that seeks to exert itself in a way that the statute doesn’t authorize at all.”
Scott Pruitt among others signed a suit filed against the EPA's regulation of mercury pollution from power plants (PDF). In the Summary of Argument, they wrote: 
“[T]he record does not support EPA’s findings that mercury, non-mercury HAP metals, and acid gas HAPs pose public health hazards.”
Kent Lassman, President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), wrote that Scott Pruitt had invited him to the EPA, and that the think tank had “contributed to positive development recently at the Environmental Protection Agency”: 
“Speaking of impact measures, CEI contributed to positive development recently at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt invited me along with three colleagues for a signing ceremony where he officially put in place new conflict of interest requirements for the 22 scientific advisory boards at the EPA. It was a good day and is another step in the march to stop the flow of tens of millions of dollars from the federal fisc to outside advocates who only ever counsel more regulation,” Lassman wrote in a “fall policy update” at CEI. 
Lassman also said that he had been to the EPA and White House multiple times in recent months: 
“As a representative of the dozens of analysts, fellows, and lawyers who toil away at CEI, in the last two months I’ve found myself in multiple meetings at Office of Mangement [sic] and Budget, the EPA, and the White House. I can make an unqualified assertion: It is nice when the government wants our advice on how to shape a policy proposal.” 
November 30, 2017
The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) invited Pruitt to speak at their co-hosted event, “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.” Speaking on stage to TPPF President and CEO Brooke Rollins, Pruitt discussed how he believed that the new administration needs to “embrace a stewardship mentality” by making use of more natural resources, while “navigating the pathway to undoing these [Obama administration] regulations.” Pruitt highlighted recent accomplishments like undoing the Waters of the United States Rule, saying “what we’re doing is undoing those rules that were deficient.” 
“We as country need to ask ourselves, and we need to answer: what is true environmentalist? Is it truly prohibition? Is it to say that though we’ve been blessed with certain natural resources we shouldn’t use them? Or should we use those natural resources to feed and power the world and do so with environmental stewardship in mind? And it’s a very important question,” Pruitt said. “
[…] We need to embrace a stewardship mentality. And, to whom much is given, much is required. And use those natural resources we’ve been blessed with to bless others, both domestically and internationally. And we’ve got to have that dialogue.” 
Brooke responded, “I love that,” moving to a question on Pruitt's experience given he was “a complete Washington Outsider.” Pruitt said he is “so thankful to be serving the President, as I indicated earlier, because of his courage.”
“He’s made very, very courageous decisions,” Pruitt said. He’s willing to take on the culture here in Washington and across the country. As an example, that is the Paris Accord agreement, to exit that. There was tremendous pressure brought on the President to stay in that, by the way, for no good environmental reason. It was a bumper sticker. Paris was a bumper sticker. It was not about CO2 reduction. It was about penalizing our own economy. […] The President made a very courageous decision to exit.” 
November 9, 2017
Scott Pruitt addressed the Heartland Institute's “America First Energy Conference” at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas in a pre-recorded video message. In the video, Pruitt personally thanked Heartland for “what you're doing to advance energy” and “for what you're doing to advance natural resources: 
Many of the other speakers have regularly spoken at the Heartland Institute's past ICCCs. Notable speakers listed so far Joe Bast, Fred Palmer, Roger Bezdek, H. Sterling Burnett, Hal Doiron, Paul Driessen, John Dale Dunn, Myron Ebell, Heartland's new President Tim Huelskamp, Craig Idso, David Legates, Jay Lehr, Anthony Lupo, Ross McKitrick, Steve Milloy, Todd Myers, John Nothdurt, David Schnare, and numerous others. 
As reported at the Houston Chronicle, speakers notably included two Trump Administration officials: Richard W. Westerdale II of the State Department and Vincent DeVito of the Department of Interior. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, was also formerly listed as a Heartland conference speaker, but apparently withdrew. 
The Climate Investigations Center put up a parody of the America First Energy conference website, complete with profiles on the individual speakers and highlighting their corporate funding and ties to groups such as the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC). 
October 10, 2017
“After reviewing the CPP, EPA has proposed to determine that the Obama-era regulation exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority. Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence,” the press release reads. 
As the New York Times reported, the decision is a “personal triumph for Mr. Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general helped lead more than two dozen states in challenging the rule in the courts.” 
The proposal for repeal will now have to make it through a formal public comment period, and will face opposition from both environmental groups and Democrats. New York and Massachusetts attorneys general also said they plan to sue the E.P.A. once the repeal is finalized. 
According to an August 2017 article at The New York Times, David Schnare, who had previously announced he was quitting the EPA under Pruitt's leadership, clarified that his reason for resigning was Scott Pruitt's secrecy and mismanagement of the agency. 
“He’s got a serious problem because of his emails down in Oklahoma — he’s burned himself,” said Schnare, referring to the thousands of emails released as part of a request by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). (Pruitt had previously asserted the emails did not exist). 
Schare cited Pruitt's lack of transparency as one of the reasons for his resignation: 
“My view was that under this administration we would be good at transparency, particularly in the regulatory area,” he said. “But these guys aren’t doing that.” 
Scott Pruitt's EPA began initial moves to assemble a “red team” designed to combat mainstream climate change science. The administration reached out to the Heartland Institute, which had a red team of its own designed to be the antithesis to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Washington Examiner reported. 
“The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached out to the Heartland Institute to help identify scientists who could constitute a red team, and we've been happy to oblige,” Jim Lakely, the Heartland Institute's communications director, told the Washington Examiner.
“This effort is long overdue,” he said. “The climate scientists who have dominated the deliberations and the products of the IPCC have gone almost wholly without challenge. That is a violation of the scientific method and the public's trust.”
The Heartland Institute has been a long proponent of a red team “to critically examine what has become alarmist dogma rather than a sober evaluation of climate science for many years,” Lakely said. “In fact, Heartland has worked closely with a red team that has been examining the science for several years: the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC.” 
According to Climatewire, a senior administration official said that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals […] provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science.” 
The official added that the program will use “red team, blue team” exercises to conduct an “at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science.” Climate scientists expressed concern that the “red team, blue team” concept could further politicize research and “disproportionately elevate the views of a relatively small number of experts who disagree with mainstream scientists,” Climatewire also reported. 
The New York Times reported that Pruitt's preparations were already underway by the time he spoke at an ACCCE board meeting where he discussed his strategy, The New York Times reported. Critics have said that Pruitt's approach would undermine the role of academic research at the EPA. 
I think this is fundamentally a dumb idea,” Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University, told The New York Times in an email. “It’s like a red team-blue team exercise about whether gravity exists.”
June 16, 2017
The Associated Press received a new set of emails from Pruitt, further detailing his coordination with fossil fuel companies during his time as Oklahoma’s state attorney general. The set of emails ran over 4,000 pages and included schedules and speaking engagements between Pruitt and his staff as well as key representatives and lobbyists from the fossil fuel industries. 
The AP reported that one June, 2016 email showed a board member of Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA) seeking a meeting with Pruitt's team to brief them “regarding a pending federal tax issue that is related to the state’s position on the Clean Power Plan.” v
DEPA represents a range of independent oil and gas companies including interests of Harold Hamm, who backed Scott Pruitt politically and also frequently advised Donald Trump. 
June 2, 2017
Following Donald Trump's official announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Accord, Pruitt said the U.S. has “nothing to be apologetic about” for leaving the Paris climate deal at the White House Daily Briefing. , 
In Pruitt's prepared speech on June 1, Pruitt applauded Trump's decision to exit the agreement as “a historic restoration of American Economic Independence – one that will benefit the working class, the working poor, and working people of all stripes. With this action, you have declared that people are the rulers of this country once again.” 
March 29, 2017
The New York Times reported that Pruitt, as head of the EPA, rejected conclusions from his own agency's chemical safety experts who had recommended to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos used widely on farms across the United States. 
Pruitt released a statement concluding that the agency needed to study the science more before banning the chemical. While still used in about 40,000 farms, the chemical had already been banned in household settings. 
Late in 2016, EPA scientists found that the chemical was potentially causing health consequences including memory decline in farm workers and children who might become exposed to the substance through drinking water. Farm groups using the chemical as well as Dow Chemical, which sells the chemical to farmers under the name Lorsban, had argued the science was inconclusive. 
March 9, 2017
“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see […] But we don’t know that yet […] we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis,” Pruitt said.
DeSmog reported that environmental groups have expressed their displeasure with Pruitt's comments: 
“This is like your doctor telling you that cigarettes don't cause cancer,” Jamie Henn, strategic communications director for 350.org, said in a statement. “Pruitt’s statement isn’t just inaccurate, it’s a lie. He knows CO2 is the leading cause of climate change, but is misleading the public in order to protect the fossil fuel industry.”
DeSmog also put together a brief video, outlining Pruitt's stance on global warming, highlighting his earlier statements during his confirmation hearing when he was questioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders:
February 21, 2017
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) obtained thousands of emails from the Oklahoma Attorney General's office. CMD had previously filed a lawsuit against Pruitt for withholding the public records. The emails were released after the Oklahoma County Court found Pruitt in violation of the state’s Open Records Act. , 
Among the documents released on February 21, CMD found emails further documenting the close relationship between Devon Energy and Scott Pruitt. They also found that the oil and gas lobby group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) coordinated opposition in 2013 to both the Renewable Fuel Standard Program and ozone limits with Pruitt’s office. AFPM provided Pruitt with template language for an Oklahoma petition, noting “this argument is more credible coming from a State.” 
DeSmog also examined the emails, noting that they reveal a close relationship with groups such as the Koch Industries-funded Americans for Prosperity and the Oklahoma Public Policy Council, the latter a member of the influential conservative State Policy Network (SPN). 
CMD reports that the AG's office has withheld or redacted an undetermined number of additional documents pending review by the court. 
January 18, 2017
Scott Pruitt sat before the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee for his confirmation hearing as a nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt was introduced by his “mentor,” prominent climate change denier James Inhofe. In response to a question from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Pruitt responded: 
“The climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. It is the ability to measure it and the extent of that impact, and what to do about it that is subject to continued debate and dialogue,” Pruitt said.
DeSmog reported how Pruitt was grilled on his fossil fuel ties early in the hearing. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held up a chart outlining how Pruitt has financially benefited from fossil fuel companies including Devon Energy, Southern Company, Koch Industries, and ExxonMobil. 
Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon pointed to a 2014 letter that Pruitt's office had sent to the EPA about methane rules, which had been almost entirely written by Devon Energy.
“There were 1,016 words in the letter, and all but 37 words were written by Devon Energy,” said Merkley. “Do you acknowledge that you presented a private oil company's position, rather than a position developed by the people of Oklahoma?” Merkley pushed, “How can you present that as representing the people of Oklahoma when you simply only consulted an oil company to push its own point of view for its private profit?”
Pruitt responded that the letter wasn't intended to represent only one company, but the whole industry. See footage of Pruitt's hearing below, from C-SPAN.
EPA Confirmation Hearing Part 1)
EPA Confirmation Hearing Part 2)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) mentioned Pruitt's letter to the EPA, authored almost entirely by Devon Energy, that had been reported in the 2014 New York Times investigation, asking pruitt if he would acknowledge that acknowledge that he “presented a private oil company’s position, rather than a position developed by the people of Oklahoma.” To this, Pruitt replied that he “disagree[d]” with Merkley’s conclusion and asserted that the letter was “representing the interests of the state of Oklahoma” because it “was representing the interest of an industry in the state of Oklahoma, not a company.” He added that he belived the oil industry is “a very important industry to our state” for justification. , 
Asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) whether he solicited fossil fuel contributions on behalf of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), Pruitt said that “I have not asked them for money on behalf of RAGA.” While Media Matters notes that Pruitt's claim may be true, it also points out that RAGA had sent out call sheets to Republican attorneys general for the purpose of soliciting funds from corporations, making this a point worthy of followup. 
Later in the hearing, in what Media Matters describes as “setting up an apparent conflict of interest,” Pruitt said that he would not recuse himself from his ongoing litigation against the EPA. Responding to a question by Senator Markey, Pruitt answered that he would only recuse himself if “as directed by EPA ethics counsel.” Markey noted that Pruitt’s continued involvement in those lawsuits would create a “fundamental conflict of interest.” 
Some of since suggested that Pruitt may have made a false statement under oath to the Senate during his confirmation hearing, Business Insider reports. Pruitt, while referring to an ongoing environmental lawsuit involving several poultry companies in Arkansas. Pruitt's predecessor, Drew Edmondson, had brought a case against 13 poultry companies, accusing them of dumping over 300,000 tons of poultry waste into the Illinois River. During Pruitt's campaign for state attorney general, he had accepted $40,000 in donations from those companies and the law firms representing them, according to The New York Times. One in office, Pruitt did not pursue the case as his predecessor had done. 
In response to questions from Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey during his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said: “I have taken no action to undermine that case. I have done nothing but file briefs in support of the court making a decision.” Reporter Daniel Rivero found no evidence that Pruitt or his office had ever filed briefs in support of making a decision with the case, apparently contradicting his claim. , 
January 12, 2017
Senate Democrats raised conflict of interest concerns about Scott Pruitt. In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, members of the Senate's environment panel requested more background on Pruitt's dealings with the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which Pruitt led for two years while coordinating with other state AGs to combat the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. , 
“During his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt has blurred the distinction between official and political actions, often at the behest of corporations he will regulate if confirmed to lead EPA,” the letter said. “Public reporting based on documents produced by Freedom of Information Act requests illustrate how Mr. Pruitt and members of his staff have worked closely with fossil fuel lobbyists to craft his office's official positions.”
November 1, 2016
Among numerous ongoing legal challenges against the EPA's Clean Water Rule, Pruitt's name is included on a 2016 lawsuit issued in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. 
Scott Pruitt sued the EPA over standards for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants. Pruit and his PACs have received contributions from listed co-litigators including Murray Energy, Southern Company, Peabody Energy, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. , 
September 15, 2016
- David Bookbinder, Founder, Element VI Consulting
- David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma
- David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
- Moderator: Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution
August 2, 2016
Scott Pruitt, along with a number of other Republican attorneys general, sued the EPA over standards limiting pollution from new, modified and reconstructed oil and gas facilities. , 
June 15, 2016
Scott Pruitt signed a letter (PDF), along with other Republican attorneys general, opposing the investigations of ExxonMobil discussing what it knew about climate change. The open letter criticized the coalition of state attorneys general working under the banner of “AGs United for Clean Power,” which supported the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, and also led the investigation into ExxonMobil. , 
“We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake,” the letter reads.
Signatories included the following:
- Luther Strange — Attorney General, State of Alabama
- Craig Richards — Attorney General, State of Alaska
- Mark Brnovich— Attorney General, State of Arizona
- Leslie Rutledge— Attorney General, State of Arkansas
- Jeff Landry — Attorney General, State of Louisiana
- Bill Schuette — Attorney General, State of Michigan
- Doug Peterson — Attorney General, State of Nebraska
- Adam Laxalt — Attorney General, State of Nevada
- Scott Pruitt — Attorney General, State of Oklahoma
- Alan Wilson — Attorney General, State of South Carolina
- Ken Paxton — Attorney General, State of Texas
- Sean Reyes — Attorney General, State of Utah
- Brad Schimel — Attorney General, State of Wisconsin
May 26, 2016
According to Pruitt:
“the EPA was never intended to be our Nation’s frontline environmental regulator. The States were to have regulatory primacy. The EPA was to be a regulator of last resort. That construct, a construct put in place by this body, has been turned upside down by the current Administration.”
Pruitt also describes hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as having “ done more to reduce carbon emissions in this country than any other technological advancement of our time.” Pruitt added, “This didn’t happen as a result of the heavy hand of the EPA. Rather, it happened because of fracking and the positive market forces that those sorts of Oklahoma innovations create.” 
May 16, 2016
Scott Pruitt was featured on a Federalist Society podcast to discuss the investigation of state attorneys general into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change over the past decades. Also on the panel was climate change denier and lobbyist C. Boyden Gray. 
April 22, 2016
Scott Pruitt was among those suing the EPA, alongside Murray Energy Corporation, opposing an update to its national ambient air standard for ground-level ozone (smog pollution). 
April 22, 2016
In ongoing litigation, Scott Pruitt suited the EPA over the Clean Power Plan. This was the fourth lawsuit that Pruitt filed against the EPA regarding the CPP, with three previous lawsuits being summarily rejected as premature: first, in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; second in Oklahoma federal district court, this appealed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; and third in D.C Circuit Court. , , , 
March 16, 2016
The Office of the Attorney General of Oklahoma sued the EPA (PDF) over a rule that protected against excessive emissions from power plants during startup, shutdown, or malfunction. Co-litigators included Southern Company, from whom Pruitt had received campaign contributions. , , 
While working as Oklahoma's Attorney General, Scott Pruitt filed a lawsuit against the EPA's Clean Power Plan (PDF). Assisting him were the attorneys from BakerHostetler, one of the United States's largest law firms. 
Two attorneys working with Pruitt included David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman—the same two who in Mach 2016 recently established the Free Speech in Science Project to defend companies and groups over their climate science denial.
DeSmog reported on that, in 2015, just one week before state attorneys general asked federal courts to reject the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), republican state attorneys general had met in private with energy companies Murray Energy and Southern Company. Bloomberg also noted that the timing of the secret meetings coincided with large contributions from the energy companies to the Republican Attorneys General Association. , 
Representatives had attended the August 2015 Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) summit in West Virginia. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) identified Murray Energy and Southern Company as having shelled out extra money to secure private briefings with attorneys general at the annual RAGA summit. 
“That’s highly inappropriate for law enforcement officials in a majority of states to be holding private meetings with corporations that they are supposed to be holding to account,” Nick Surgey, CMD Research Director, told DeSmog
Documents first obtained by the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD revealed that Murray Energy and Southern Company had paid for the meetings with Republican attorneys general to discuss their opposition to the Clean Power Plan less than two weeks before the same GOP officials petitioned federal courts to block the CPP. 
“State attorneys general are supposed to enforce the law and serve the public interest, but instead these Republican officials have hung a ‘For Sale’ sale on their door, and the fossil fuel industry proved to be the highest bidder,” said Surgey. “It’s no coincidence that GOP attorneys general have mounted an aggressive fight alongside the fossil fuel industry to block the Clean Power Plan – that appears to be exactly what the industry paid for. Together, these documents reveal a sustained pattern of collusion between the fossil fuel industry and the Republican attorneys general on climate change obstructionism.”
Scott Pruitt was on a RAGA panel named “The Dangerous Consequences of the Clean Power Plan & Other EPA Rules.” Other attorneys general on the panel included Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, and Ken Paxton of Texas. 
July 1, 2015
“The EPA does not possess the authority under the Clean Air Act to accomplish what it proposes in the unlawful Clean Power Plan. The EPA is ignoring the authority granted by Congress to states to regulate power plant emissions at their source. The Clean Power Plan is an unlawful attempt to expand federal bureaucrats’ authority over states’ energy economies in order to shutter coal-fired power plants and eventually other sources of fossil-fuel generated electricity. This would substantially threaten energy affordability and reliability for consumers, industry and energy producers in Oklahoma. Oklahomans care about issues of air quality and our state policy makers are best-suited and specifically granted the authority by federal law to regulate these issues. We are filing this lawsuit in order to ensure decisions on power generation and how to achieve emissions reductions are made at the local level rather than at the federal level,” Pruitt said.
December 10, 2014
Pruitt was among attorneys general who filed a lawsuit against the EPA opposing the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (PDF), after the U.S. Supreme Court had already upheld the standard. The EPA's program was designed to address soot and smog pollution that drifts across state lines. EDF Action notes that Pruitt and his associated PACs have received campaign contributions from a number of the energy companies included in the suit including Murray Energy, Peabody Energy and Southern Company. , 
Co-litigators Murray Energy, National Mining Association and a Peabody Energy subsidiary had also contributed to the Republican Attorneys General Association, of which Pruitt previously chaired. 
In 2011, Pruitt had submitted the comments of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and the Oklahaoma Gas and Electric Company (PDF) regarding the implementation of the program. “[A]s the officer charged with the task of representing consumers and citizens within the State of Oklahoma, the Attorney General is greatly concerned about certain provisions in the current EPA proposal,” Pruitt's cover letter reads. In a seperate letter, he also submitted comments of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. , 
A 2014 investigation by The New York Times found that energy lobbyists had drafted letters for Pruitt to send on state-branded stationary to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and to President Obama outlining how environmental rules would negatively impact the economy. View sample letters here. , 
The Times pointed to a three-page letter that was written by the lawyers for Devon Energy. They write how Pruitt's staff had taken the draft written by Devon Energy, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and forwarded it with Pruitt's signature. 
Scott Pruitt spoke at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) 2014 Annual Meeting where he criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Keep It in the Ground campaign. See video and partial transcript below. 
“This body called the EPA, this agency called the EPA, what is their role? What is their objective? Is it to pick winners and losers in the energy context? Is it to say renewables are good and fossil fuels are bad? So we’re going to use are regulatory power to penalize fossil fuels and to elevate other types of energy? […]
This EPA and all the agencies associated with it, they’re trying to make electricity so costly that they are forcing conservation, for you to use less across this country or pay an exorbitant price. That’s what this country is facing in the years ahead […]
Do you know under the know under the Clean Water Act that the EPA has no jurisdictional authority over hydraulic fracturing unless the frac fluid that is used in the extraction process has diesel in it? But despite that. FracFocus is something industry publishes and the fluids they use and if there’s no diesel EPA has no authority. But despite that what is the EPA doing today? They’re engaged in a study to do just what I mentioned, regulate and overtake the regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the state level. Either displace it or duplicate it to make it so time consuming that it affects production across this country. That’s picking winners and losers […]
Beyond the regional haze case, we have something on the horizon something more troubling. And that’s the proposed rule under 111(d) with respect to CO2 regulation. We have an EPA that is engaged in rulemaking, proposed rulemaking, that seeks to exert itself in a way that the statute doesn’t authorize at all […]
Again, another example that the EPA taking a statute and saying we’ll improve or fix or take a different approach than authorized by Congress.”
The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) PR Watch reported that Pruitt also spoke at a session on the proposed EPA's limits on carbon pollution. CMD writes: “In keeping with ALEC’s longtime denial of both the science and solutions to climate change, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, spoke about proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits on carbon pollution. That session was sponsored by the world’s largest publicly owned coal company, Peabody Energy, and the trade association for the coal industry, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), of which Peabody is a member.” 
Scott Pruitt's Office filed a lawsuit against Fish and Wildlife Services, alleging it had engaged in a practice he described as “sue and settle.” Pruitt argued that the federal government had emphasized threats on certain animal species, including the lesser prairie chicken, in order to limit oil and gas drilling. The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance was a partner in Pruitt's litigation. The nonprofit alliance of oil producers was run by Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, who The New York Times notes also served as the chairman of Pruitt's re-election campaign in that year. 
Scott Pruitt was a speaker at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) event titled “Embracing American Energy Opportunities: From Wellheads to Pipelines” (PDF) in Oklahoma. Others who attended included event moderator Patrice Douglas, Chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission; Richard Muncrief, Senior Vice President of Operations, Continental Resources; and Corey Goulet, Vice President, Keystone Pipeline Projects, TransCanda Corporation. 
Pruitt unsuccessfully sued EPA in an attempt to block Oklahoma air pollution rules to limit haze pollution in scenic areas. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Oklahoma’s petition, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Oklahoma’s request for an appeal. , , 
October 23, 2012
Pruitt sued to block a standard to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from power plant smokestacks. After the initial lawsuit, basic protections remained intact, so Pruitt sued the EPA a second time (PDF), even though the majority of U.S. powerplants had already achieved the standard, reported Forbes. , , , 
February 28, 2012
Pruitt attempted to continue Oklahoma’s legal challenge to the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which had found that research supported climate change's negative impact on human health, community welfare, and extreme weather events. , 
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously rejected the lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision. 
Co-litigators included the American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Mining Association, National Association of Home Builders, as well as a Peabody Energy, which have contributed to the Republican Attorneys General Association. 
Working in support of the American Farm Bureau’s, Pruitt helped file a lawsuit to overturn federal pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay. Speaking with WYPR public radio, Ridge Hall, a former EPA attorney and vice chairman of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, said Pruitt’s EPA appointment in 2016 would be bad for the bay. 
“He has consistently opposed air regulations, water regulations, and EPA generally,” Hall said. “So this is really a case of putting the fox in charge of the hen house. So I hope very much that that nomination will be wither withdrawn or defeated.”
- Federalist Society — “Expert.” The Federalist Society notes that this doesn't necessarily mean that Pruitt is associated with the Society, just that he has “spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations.” 
- Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) — Member since 2001, and former chair. Member, 2014-2015 Executive Committee. , 
- The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) — Former member, 2014 - 2016. Pruitt was chair of the group until he resigned in December, 2016, following his nomination by Trump. , 
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — Former Chair, Civil Justice Task Force. 
- Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC – “Honorary Chair.” 
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