President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Oklahoma attorney Scott Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
If he is confirmed, Pruitt will lead the agency in charge of protecting human health and the environment by implementing regulations on various pollutants. The agency is also tasked with working with other nations to protect the global environment.
Here are five key facts to know about Pruitt.
He's led the charge against Obama's climate policies
According to the Times, Pruitt is "a key architect of the legal battle against [President Barack Obama]’s climate change policies," namely the Clean Power Plan (CPP), Obama's signature package of EPA regulations to limit carbon emissions from power plants.
Pruitt has called the CPP "an unlawful attempt to expand federal bureaucrats' authority over states' energy economies" with the goal of "shutting down" the fossil fuel industry.
He questions climate science, which is unprecedented for an EPA head
In every administration dating back to the 1980s, the head of the EPA has accepted the scientific consensus that humans cause climate change, Politico reported Wednesday. But Pruitt has expressed doubt that humans are the cause.
“Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” Pruitt wrote in a May op-ed with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
He has close ties to the fossil fuel industry
Throughout his career, Pruitt has worked closely with the fossil fuel industry.
Last year, for example, The New York Times found that a letter Pruitt sent to the EPA accusing it of “overestimating” pollution caused by fracking was actually written by an Oklahoma oil and gas company. A chief executive of a North Dakota oil and gas company also co-chaired Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.
Times reporter Eric Lipton won a pulitzer for his reporting on Pruitt's ties to the industry.
Conservatives love him
Pruitt "has emerged as a hero to conservative activists," the Times reported on Tuesday -- especially among those who believe the EPA has overreached with its environmental regulations.
On Twitter, some conservatives reacted with glee that Pruitt would potentially rein in the agency.
Environmentalists hate him
For liberals and environmentalists, however, Trump's choice of Pruitt was nothing short of devastating.
In a statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he'd "vigorously oppose" Pruitt's nomination. On Twitter, he called Pruitt "a climate denier who's worked closely with the fossil fuel industry. That's sad and dangerous."