With Jeff Sessions’ hold on the Attorney General’s job possibly tenuous, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, is interested in the job.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is interested in becoming attorney general, reports Politico. With rumors swirling that Jeff Sessions could depart the administration and two members of the House Freedom Caucus calling on the former Alabama senator to resign, Pruitt is trying to position himself as a possible candidate for the job. It’s not clear whether Pruitt would be on the short list for the position, but people close to the president said Trump has grown to like him. Pruitt has emerged as the face of Trump’s deregulatory agenda, taking steps to overturn former President Obama’s climate change regulations. He was also a leading advocate for pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
Pruitt has developed a reputation as one of the most ambitious members of Trump’s Cabinet, and people close to him believe he harbors bigger aspirations in politics, perhaps as governor or senator. EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox denied Pruitt’s interest in running the Justice Department, saying, “From creating regulatory certainty to cleaning up toxic superfund sites, Administrator Pruitt is solely focused on implementing President Trump’s agenda to protect the environment.” Before joining the Trump administration, Pruitt served as Oklahoma’s attorney general, and he was a state senator before that. A Pruitt nomination for attorney general would face fierce resistance from Democrats, who have argued that he is too closely tied to the oil industry and has weakened crucial environmental protections.