Dem AGs renew call for Pruitt to recuse himself from climate rule repeal process

Dem AGs renew call for Pruitt to recuse himself from climate rule repeal process
© Greg Nash

Democratic state attorneys general are renewing their call for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE to recuse himself from the process of repealing the agency’s climate change rule for power plants.

The group of attorneys general representing 16 states, cities and counties argue Pruitt has demonstrated that he doesn’t have an open mind on the Clean Power Plan, thus violating the expectations of due process and fairness in regulatory proceedings.

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“The American people are entitled to an impartial decision-maker. EPA Administrator Pruitt simply cannot be that person,” California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraIndustry wins big in methane rules rollback Overnight Energy: Watchdog to investigate EPA over Hurricane Harvey | Panel asks GAO to expand probe into sexual harassment in science | States sue over methane rules rollback Some states back plaintiff suing DHS over Haitians' protected status MORE (D), who is leading the charge, said in a statement.

“He must be recused from any involvement in the EPA's attempt to repeal the Clean Power Plan.”

As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt frequently sued the Obama administration's EPA over its policies, including the Clean Power Plan.

Becerra’s coalition previously asked Pruitt to recuse himself in January from the deregulatory process, renewing their call this week for him to do so.

The newest filing, made late Thursday, cites new evidence to back up their claim, like Pruitt saying the EPA “acted outside of rule of law, and they acted outside of the scope of authority given to them by the U.S. Congress” in February and saying just this week that “by repealing and replacing the so-called Clean Power Plan, we are ending a one-size-fits-all regulation on energy providers and restoring the rule of law.”

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

Thursday marked the deadline for the public and stakeholders to file comments on the EPA’s plan to repeal its climate change rule for power plants.