Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt smiles while President Donald Trump leads an energy roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on June 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Pool/Getty Images
Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Who is EPA chief Scott Pruitt and how did he land a top Trump administration post?

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been under a spotlight recently for questionable spending and management at the agency, which is charged with protecting human health and the environment.

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Before assuming the Cabinet position with the Trump administration, Pruitt was the attorney general for Oklahoma, a state with a booming oil and gas production sector. 

Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times, according to The New York Times, including suits over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and over the EPA’s efforts at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The Times also reported 13 of the lawsuits included co-parties that had donated money to Pruitt or his campaigns.

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Before joining the Trump administration, Pruitt boasted on his LinkedIn page of being “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” according to The Washington Post.

He was elected Oklahoma attorney general in 2010 and before that served in the state Senate for eight years.

As attorney general, he established the state’s first federalism unit to fight what he called unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government, according to his profile on WhiteHouse.gov.

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He also helped broker an historic water rights settlement between Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribal Nations, according to his profile. The deal, which needed congressional approval, came after the tribes sued to protect their water rights, The Oklahoman reported. 

Born in 1968 in Danville, Kentucky, Pruitt earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Georgetown College and a law degree from the University of Tulsa. He practiced law at a private legal practice and specialized in constitutional law before running for office.

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Pruitt was a co-owner and general partner in the Oklahoma City RedHawks minor league baseball team and managed the team’s marketing operations between 2003 and 2010 when it was sold, according to Oklahoma news outlets.

He’s been married for 28 years and has a son and daughter.

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