Sustainable Energy

With Pruitt's nomination, Trump 'intends to wage war on clean air and clean water'

Trump's mixed messages on climate change

President-elect Donald Trump's intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not gone down well with campaign groups.

Pruitt is "a national leader against the EPA's job-killing war on coal", Trump's transition team said in a statement on Facebook Thursday morning.

A Republican, Pruitt has been critical of the EPA. According to Reuters, he is a leading figure in a legal effort to get rid of the EPA's flagship Clean Power Plan, which has become the cornerstone of President Obama's strategy on climate change.

Unsurprisingly, Trump's decision has provoked overwhelmingly critical reactions from environmental organisations.

"By appointing Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to wage war on clean air and clean water," Benjamin Schreiber, climate and energy program director for Friends of the Earth, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Trump has also put our climate in peril and shown he is out of step with the American people," Schreiber added.

The Natural Resources Defense Council was equally negative in its appraisal of Pruitt's proposed appointment.

"The mission of the EPA and its administrator requires an absolute commitment to safeguard public health and protect our air, land, water and planet," its president Rhea Suh said in a statement.

"That's the litmus test," Suh added. "By naming Pruitt, President-elect Trump has flunked. The American people did not vote to return to the country to the dirty old days or to turn a blind eye on dangerous climate change."

By contrast, the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association welcomed Trump's intention to nominate Pruitt.

"As Oklahoma's Attorney General, Scott Pruitt has proven that he is a legal expert, which is exactly what our nation needs at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency," the Association said in a statement.

"We are excited about having an Oklahoman in a prominent role of a Trump administration, and we welcome a more measured regulatory approach at the EPA that will give a voice to all," it went on to add.

Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, was also positive. In a Tweet, Abbott commented that Pruitt was "an excellent choice" and stated that he would "bring needed change."