Oklahoma attorney general and President Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt’s environmental record is currently under a microscope, including his role in Oklahoma’s earthquake increase.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) questioned him about his role in the earthquakes, which scientist have linked to disposal wells used in the oil and gas industry.
Sanders asked what action Pruitt had taken to which he said he was very concerned, Sanders then said, “and therefore you must have taken action. I guess, can you tell me who you fined for doing this?” To which Pruitt replied, “the corporation commission in Oklahoma is vested with the jurisdiction and they have actually acted on that.”
Oklahomans have dealt with a record number of earthquakes that have caused damage and injuries around the state while waiting on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to act.
In states like California and New York, attorney generals have been quick to step in on issues like this, while Pruitt took a hands off approach.
The Sierra Club issued a statement about the Pruitt nomination calling out his inaction on the earthquakes in Oklahoma.
“When a 2015 report from the Oklahoma Geological Survey found a direct link between oil and gas mining and increased destruction and property damage from earthquakes, Pruitt did nothing even though as Attorney General he is responsible for protecting Oklahomans. As the costs of earthquake damage pile up, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey have urged action, Pruitt has done nothing as families have been forced from their homes. Scott Pruitt is also leading the legal challenge against the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, passed by President Obama in 2011 to protect families from dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic, pushing to have it thrown out by the courts and allow coal-fired power plants to again dump tons of mercury into our environment.”
With his hands-off approach on this issue and many others impacting Oklahoma, it’s hard to know what action, if any, Pruitt will take on environmental issues plaguing the country.
If you are concerned about Scott Pruitt’s nomination for the head of the EPA tell your Senator.