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President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency had no shortage of critics before his confirmation hearing last week, but his suggestion that he might restrict California’s fight against climate change provoked heavyweight ire.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared to his huge social media following on Monday that the nominee, Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt, is a hypocrite.
“My Republican colleague here is all about states' rights – except the right to clean air & save lives from pollution,” Schwarzenegger wrote on Facebook and Twitter, with a link to The Times report about Pruitt having cast doubt during his confirmation hearing on whether California should continue to have power to impose its own emissions rules for cars and trucks.
The emissions rules are a cornerstone of California’s effort to combat climate change. Schwarzenegger’s legacy as California governor is tied to the climate fight, which he championed.
When the administration of George W. Bush hedged on taking action on global warming, Schwarzenegger partnered with Democrats in California to aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
Schwarzenegger’s latest comments echo the allegation of Democrats that Pruitt favors expanding the rights of states to forge their own path on environmental regulation – but only when states want less of it.
Schwarzenegger predicted Pruitt would lose if he took on California and called on lawmakers to fight him if he did.
“I hope my friends in Congress won't let him get away with this junk logic,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “But CA has won this battle before and we will win again if necessary.”