Monday, January 02, 2017

Mascot of the Month: Scott Pruitt - Head of the Enviromental Protection Agency

In the world is upside down news, Scott Pruitt is the President-elect's appointment for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Pruitt is currently Oklahoma's  Attorney General, famous for suing the EPA for over-stepping it's bounds.  The new head of the EPA does not believe that Climate Change is man made. Closer to home, he also does not believe the science that fracking has increased Oklahoma's experience of Earthquakes.

In fact, Wikipedia has a nice overview of his time as Attorney General of Oklahoma. His anti-gay views can be dismissed here are the EPA does very little with gay marriage - but his other actions portend what the future of the EPA will look like.

Career as Attorney General

Pruitt speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.
  • Pruitt's office has sued the EPA to block its Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule.[5] Pruitt has also sued the EPA on behalf of Oklahoma utilities unwilling to take on the burdens of additional regulation of their coal-fired plants, and criticized the agency in a congressional hearing.[6][7] All of Pruitt's anti-EPA suits to date have failed.[8]
  • In 2012, Attorney General Pruitt kept Oklahoma out of the mortgage settlement reached by 49 other states with five national lenders, with Pruitt citing differing philosophies of government.[9]
  • In 2013, Pruitt brought a lawsuit targeting the Affordable Care Act.[10]
  • In 2013, Pruitt supported the Oklahoma legislature's bid to join four other states trying to restrict medical abortions by limiting or banning off-label uses of drugs, via House Bill 1970. After the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the abortion law was unconstitutional, Pruitt requested that the United States Supreme Court review the case. Pruitt was unhappy with the United States Supreme Court's rejection of the Oklahoma case.[11][12]
  • Pruitt was pleased with the decision of the United States Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby in June 2014. Pruitt, an acquaintance of the Green family, the founders of Hobby Lobby, filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of their position, that the owners of privately held companies need not provide their employees with birth control, if that goes against their beliefs. In a statement, Pruitt noted, "The founders established a Constitution to protect Americans' religious freedom from an intrusive federal government. Today's ruling solidifies the principle that our religion is not a silent practice confined to the four walls of a church, but it is an opportunity to live out our faith in the public square."[13]
  • In June 2013, Pruitt maintained that the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a provision of DOMA, a federal law that denied federal benefits to homosexual married couples did not affect Oklahoma's laws on the subject.[14]
  • Pruitt expressed his dissatisfaction when a federal court ruled that Oklahoma's voter-approved amendment in 2004 to the Oklahoma State Constitution that defined marriage as only the union of one man and one woman was a violation of the U.S. Constitution in 2014.[15] In October 2014, Pruitt criticized the Supreme Court's refusal to hear Oklahoma's appeal in the definition of marriage case.[16]
  • On March 6, 2014, Pruitt joined a lawsuit targeting California's prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens kept in conditions more restrictive than those approved by California voters. Less than a week later, Pruitt announced that he would investigate the Humane Society of the United States, one of the principal proponents of the California law.[17][18]
  • On September 9, 2014, in Pruitt v. Burwell, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled against the IRS.[19
  • In October 2014, a California judge dismissed the lawsuit, rejecting the arguments of Pruitt and the other attorneys-general concerning California's Proposition 2, a 2008 ballot initiative. Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that Oklahoma and the other states lacked legal standing to sue on behalf of their residents and that Pruitt and other plaintiffs were representing the interests of egg farmers, rather than "a substantial statement of their populations."[20][21][22]
  • In November 2014, after the Oklahoma Supreme Court blocked the enforcement of two abortion-related laws until after their constitutionality was litigated (which could take up to a year or more), Pruitt's office communicated the Attorney General's intention to support their implementation and enforcement.[23] [24]
  • In 2013, Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, co-chaired Pruitt's reelection campaign.[25] Pruitt ran unopposed in the 2014 primary election and won the November 2014 election for a new term as Attorney General.[26] Pruitt then jointly filed a lawsuit against a federal regulation alongside the Oklahoma Gas & Electric and an energy industry group funded by Hamm.[25]
  • Pruitt has been successful in raising campaign contributions from the energy industry, helping him to become chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.[25]
  • On Sunday, December 7, 2014, The New York Times published a front-page story highlighting that Pruitt had used his office's stationary to send form letters written by energy industry lobbyists to federal agencies during public comment.[27]
  • In April 2015, news reports indicated Pruitt believed distribution of religious material to public school students was constitutional.[28]
  • After the botched execution of Clayton Lockett and the subsequent U.S. Supreme Court approval of Oklahoma's method in Glossip v. Gross, Pruitt asked to delay all scheduled executions in Oklahoma due to a mix-up involving a drug the state intended to use in the lethal injections, on October 2, 2015.[29]
  • In May 2016, Attorneys General Pruitt and Luther Strange authored an op-ed in the National Review criticizing other state attorneys general for "acting like George III" regarding the ExxonMobil climate change controversy, writing "global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. 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."[30]
  • After the organization "Oklahomans for Health" collected the legally required number of signatures for a referendum ballot on the legalization of medical marijuana, in August 2016, Scott Pruitt's office moved to rewrite the ballot title, but not in time for the November 2016 election. The measure will appear on the 2018 ballot.[31][32]
In a world where a braggart who publicly comments on his ability to "grab women by the pussy" is President, this choice for the EPA is right in line with our peuso-reality.  He doesn't believe the science behind climate change. and he has taken no action on Oklahoma's earthquakes caused by Fracking (as noted by Oklahoma's Supreme Court).

Also "Unsettled Science"

Oh well it's going to be a brand new world.