The President’s nomination of Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick for a federal judgeship in Oklahoma City is opposed by one environmental group.
The head of the League of Conservation Voters sent a letter to U.S. senators this week asking them to oppose Wyrick’s nomination to be a U.S. District judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.
League President Gene Karpinski complained of Wyrick’s connections to former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt describing him as “Pruitt’s dear friend and trusted counselor’.”
He told the senators the two worked together on multiple cases “challenging the EPA’s ability to protect public lands and clear air and address climate change.”
Karpinksi also alleged Wyrick mislead the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee in his testimony.
“As Solicitor General, Wyrick coordinated his actions with the oil and gas industry, making statements on behalf of the State of Oklahoma with text lifted out of lobbyist emails, and in some cases drafting letters after simply swapping the letterhead,” charged Karpinkski.
Here is his letter:
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.
We urge you to oppose the judicial nomination of Judge Patrick Wyrick to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. As Solicitor General of Oklahoma, Wyrick was former Oklahoma Attorney General and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “dear friend and trusted counselor,” working together on multiple cases challenging the EPA’s ability to protect public lands and clean air and address climate change. In State of Oklahoma; Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers; Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company v. EPA; Sierra Club, they challenged an EPA plan to protect scenic vistas in certain national parks under the Regional Haze Program of the Clean Air Act. In State of West Virginia, et al. v. EPA, they challenged clean air standards for oil and gas drilling and production sites under the EPA’s rule, “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources.”
In two other cases, State of West Virginia, et al. v. EPA, et al. and North Dakota, et al. v. EPA, et al. they challenged carbon pollution standards for existing and new power plants, respectively, also known as the Clean Power Plan. The impacts of climate change are already having devastating consequences across the globe. We simply cannot afford to the Senate confirm to a lifetime appointment someone who helped lead the charge against the biggest step our country has ever taken to address the climate crisis.
There are also serious ethical concerns regarding Wyrick’s record. Wyrick made several inaccurate statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee, including regarding his involvement in his wife’s business, his conflicts with oil and gas companies, and his false statements before the U.S. Supreme Court. As Solicitor General, Wyrick coordinated his actions with the oil and gas industry, making statements on behalf of the State of Oklahoma with text lifted out of lobbyist emails, and in some cases drafting letters after simply swapping the letterhead. At the same time Wyrick held substantial holding in these companies but failed to disclose the significant conflict of interest. And in an argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, Wyrick made multiple inaccurate statements, and was accused by Justice Sotomayor of intentionally misleading the Court.
For these reasons, LCV strongly urges you to oppose the judicial nomination of Judge Patrick Wyrick to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. We will consider including this confirmation vote in the 2019 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.