Law professor says he regrets ‘unleashing’ Pruitt

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2017

Scott Pruitt’s former law professor says he laments any role he played in “unleashing” the U.S. EPA administrator on an “unsuspecting public.”

In an op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Rex Zedalis, director of the Comparative and International Law Center at the University of Tulsa, questions whether he did not do enough to keep politics out of the classroom, or hold back his own cynicism.

“A new level of politicization has been reached with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt,” he wrote. “Surely I’m at least partially to blame for failing to nurture in him a deep regard for seeing law as an instrument for addressing real facts on the ground, not simply implementing a political ideology, regardless the facts,” he said.

Zedalis described Pruitt as a diligent law student at the University of Tulsa in the 1990s. Pruitt graduated in 1993.

But Zedalis criticized the administrator for disregarding mainstream climate science. He cited Pruitt’s efforts to revoke the Obama-era Clean Power Plan as evidence that Pruitt “denies what’s known about the contribution of humans to climate-changing gases.”

He wrote, “As discomforting as it might be to accept consensus decisions of the scientific community on particular matters, the alternative raises the specter of regression to the Dark Ages’ reliance on the shaman and the soothsayer.”

EPA declined to comment on Zedalis’ op-ed.