Once thing we can say about Donald Trump: he’s (more or less) consistent in his diabolical nature. If there is an agency, a regulation, anything that protects the interests of the 99% of people who aren’t part of the billionaire class, he’s going to do everything within his power to make sure that such agencies and regulations are gutted at the earliest opportunity.

Case in point: his nomination for head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma State Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Trump announced Pruitt as his pick to be EPA Administrator early last month. A self-professed “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Pruitt is an unabashed climate change denier.

Pruitt spouts the same, tired old crap: “[the] debate is far from settled,” for example, and how “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”

Could the fact that he’s received approximately $300,000 from the oil industry over the years possibly be motivating him to make such statements?

Pruitt has also filed no fewer than 13 lawsuits against the EPA over the course of his legal career, including one over the Clean Power Plan. And now, he wants to run the very agency for which has has nothing but unmitigated contempt. Talk about a fox guarding the henhouse, as Gene Karpinski of the League of Conservation Voters put it.

Karpinsky points out that “Time and again, he [Pruitt] has fought to pad the profits of big polluters at the expense of public health.”

Pruitt claims that he intends to “run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.” But of course, by “responsible protection of the environment,” he means leaving such regulations up to the states (so gods help the people of Oklahoma). While that may have a certain appeal to some people, the problem is that environmental pollution doesn’t recognize the existence of state lines.

In fact, Pruitt has attacked pretty much every federal law and regulation he doesn’t agree with – especially when they are intended to protect average citizens. And it is Pruitt as well as those like him that Trump wants to put in charge. The new “president” is determined to carry out the agenda embraced by Grover Norquist, and drown government in a bathtub.

There is a ray of hope that Pruitt will not be confirmed. One member of the nomination committee is Bernie Sanders, who promises to “vigorously oppose this nomination.” Sanders stated that “The American People must demand leaders who are willing to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.”

Sanders is absolutely correct – and that needs to start by blocking the nomination of a delusional politician who is firmly in the back pocket of the Oil Industry.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.