Drummond joins fight with EPA over using race to determine pollution decisions



Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s latest fight with the EPA focuses on the agency’s consideration of race in regulation of pollution.

He is one of 23 attorneys general who signed on with a petition authored by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody asking the EPA to stop including race as a consideration.

Moody pointed out that Title VI prohibits racial discrimination by those who receive federal funding but all that changed when President Biden took office.

“During his time in office, the EPA has taken unprecedented steps to use the EPA’s Title VI regulations to advance what it calls environmental justice,” stated Moody in the letter signed by Attorneys General from Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and nearly two dozen other states.

Environmental justice, stated the attorneys general, asks the states to engage in “racial engineering in deciding whether to—issue environmental permits, rather than relying on the effect on the environment.” They noted the Supreme Court has called into question whether the EPA’s regulations are lawful.

Moody, Drummond and the others argued the current EPA regulations are “incompatible with Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause” and also exceed the rulemaking authority granted to the agency. They also maintained the EPA is forcing States to “classify citizens by race and take race-based actions” in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

The letter drew anger from Andre Segura who is vice president of litigation at Earthjustice, an environmental organization. He called it “outrageous” and urged the EPA to reject the petition.

In addition to Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, the petition was also signed by Attorneys General for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.