One of the attorneys general involved in high-profile climate crusades railed against President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who’s made a name for himself probing Exxon Mobil over its climate research, believes Trump’s new EPA head shows the president-elect’s disdain for those concerned about so-called man-made global warming.
“President-elect Trump’s reported nominee to lead the EPA is a dangerous and unqualified choice,” Schneiderman said in a press statement about Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination.
The Oklahoma Republican is a critic of the EPA and its Clean Power Plan, which entails heaping a trove of burdensome regulations on the coal industry. Pruitt will head the agency he’s fighting in court.
Trump made rolling back EPA regulations a key part of his campaign message, especially in Appalachia where power plant regulations have contributed to thousands of coal mine layoffs.
Environmentalists believe he’ll be the fossil fuel industry’s hand-puppet — basing their claims on reports claiming Pruitt regularly collaborates with fossil fuel companies to tamp down research related to climate change.
Schneiderman mirrored similar concerns Wednesday.
“The Science is clear: climate change — and the existential threat is poses to all Americans — is real,” he said. “Yet as Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt not only denied the existence of climate change, but took steps to accelerate its devastating effects on Americans.”
The New York AG started a series of investigations in November 2015 targeting Exxon Mobil over allegations the company misled shareholders and the public for decades about global warming. Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, another Democrat, joined Schneiderman’s crusade months later.
His inquisition was in response to published reports from various media outlets alleging the oil company buried internal research showing rising sea levels were due to man-made global warming.
Schneiderman gobbled up nearly $264,000 in campaign donations from wealthy benefactors with ties to lawyers and environmentalists backing the Democratic prosecutor’s global warming investigation.
His investigations were also backed by the Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity that draws its name from the family lineage of billionaire oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller.
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