Oklahoma AG Pruitt Holds Closed-Door Strategy Session to Fight Federal Environmental Regulations

Article excerpt

Attorney General Scott Pruitt convened a two-day, closed-door conference with more than a dozen attorneys general to create a strategy to fight what he views as encroaching federal environmental regulations in the fossil-fuel industry.

Some oil and gas representatives voiced their concerns at the event, which was hosted by George Mason University's Law and Economics Center at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City Wednesday and Thursday. But at least one environmental group questioned why Pruitt would fight Environmental Protection Agency rules aimed at enforcing clean-air standards.

Pruitt held a press conference Thursday to discuss why the attorneys general were interested in collaborating on fighting federalism. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said the officials were trying to understand how new rules would affect the coal, oil and natural gas industries and how to best protect the states that have existing regulations. In the last eight years, the federal government has taken a more active role in getting involved in matters that states regulate. Congress has enacted more statutes related to environmental issues, he said.

But Whitney Pearson, an associate field organizer with the Sierra Club Oklahoma's Beyond Coal Campaign, said the EPA enforces environmental standards to protect public health. Pearson spoke generally about federal clean-air standards because the two-day session was closed to the public. …


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