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EPA’s Pruitt Recuses Himself From Oklahoma Lawsuits Filed Against Federal Agency

Scott Pruitt is recusing himself from lawsuits that he filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency while he served as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, according to a report by CNN. His voluntary decision applies to two significant legal challenges – the Clean Power Plan and a Waters of the United States rule.

“To demonstrate my profound commitment to carrying out my ethical responsibilities, while I am the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, I will not participate in any active cases in which Oklahoma is a party, petitioner or intervenor, including the following,” said Pruitt, in a May 4 memorandum.

As Oklahoma’s top legal advisor, Pruitt joined a consortium of state attorneys general in filing suit against the EPA over these two areas. Pruitt remained one of the most active state officials who brought several lawsuits against the agency.

“I am profoundly committed to carrying out my ethical responsibilities,” said Pruitt. “While I have recused myself from making decisions on specific cases, it is my duty and privilege as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to actively engage in rulemaking.”

Pruitt came under fire during his January confirmation hearing as Democrats sought his recusal from cased filed against the agency while serving in his capacity as Attorney General. Pruitt also agreed that he would not participate in cases involving Oklahoma as a party.