CHARLESTON — Scott Pruitt has at least two West Virginia politicians in his corner.
On Dec. 14, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wrote a letter to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin urging him to support Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general, as President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Last week, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito voiced her support for Pruitt, a fellow Republican.
“For the past eight years, the EPA has repeatedly and significantly overstepped the bounds of its statutory authority in ways that have been particularly harmful to West Virginia,” Morrisey said in his letter to Manchin, a Demorcat. “These actions are not only unlawful, but also mean fewer jobs and a devastating effect on West Virginia’s economy.”
Morrisey's letter also highlights what he calls "the overreach of the current federal regime" with "Pruitt’s understanding of the proper role and limits of the EPA."
Morrisey, also a Republican who just won re-election, said Pruitt would give the EPA an administrator who would direct the agency to its originally intended purpose, rein in the EPA’s excesses and refocus the agency on effectively carrying out its mission to ensure that air and water are clean.
“Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA Administrator is vitally important to our state,” Morrisey said. “I urge Senator Manchin to put his full support behind this nomination.”
Last week, U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito, a Republican, praised Trump's decision to nominate Pruitt.
“Attorney General Pruitt is exactly the type of person we need to lead the EPA during this critical time," Capito said. "He has been a driving force behind the legal battle against President Obama’s environmental policies and far-reaching regulations.
"I look forward to working with him to reverse policies that threaten affordable, reliable energy and jobs.”
Capito noted that in May 2015, Pruitt testified before a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee hearing chaired by Senator Capito about the legal issues surrounding EPA’s carbon regulations.