Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is recusing himself from a number of active lawsuits against the EPA he pursued as Oklahoma's attorney general.
They include the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States suits, according to a memo environmental and energy publication E&E News obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request.
"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," Pruitt wrote in the May 4 memo to EPA's acting assistant administrators, acting general counsel, inspector general and acting regional administrators, before listing 12 cases from which he is recusing himself.
Pruitt, a longtime critic of the EPA while serving as Oklahoma's attorney general, joined a collection of attorneys general suing the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, the key component of former President Barack Obama's climate change agenda.
Last week, a federal appeals court granted President Donald Trump's request to halt the lawsuit, effectively sending the rule back to the EPA for review and likely quashing the measure that aimed to combat carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants.