According to a report by the New York Times, the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt has rolled back environmental regulations at a historic pace. This news comes only days after a statement was released in the scientific journal Nature that humanity may only have three years to get climate change under control.

Pruitt's historic rollback of environmental regulations

In the almost five months since Scott Pruitt became the Head of the EPA, he has proceeded to either undo, block or delay more than 30 environmental regulations.

That is more rollbacks than any EPA administrator ever over such a small span of time in the almost 50-year history of the agency. Many of these rollbacks include regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration to deal with climate change.

Pruitt filed a proposal of intent to undo or at least weaken the Clean Power Plan, a cornerstone of the Obama-era climate change regulations. He has also filed proposals to rescind legal plans to repeal pollution in America's waterways and deferred rules that mandate fossil fuel corporations to limit leaks of methane and greenhouse gases from wells. He has even reversed a ban on chlorpyrifos, a controversial pesticide that the EPA has said is hazardous to the health of children.

How Pruitt runs the EPA

Veteran environmental advocates both inside the EPA and of outside organizations have argued that the way Scott Pruitt has been running the agency is tantamount to corporate takeover. They have pointed to his custom of hiring deputies from large lobbying groups or corporations. They have also said that he will meet with a number of corporate lobbyists before making a decision but does not really take into account the input from the 15,000 employees of the EPA.

Pruitt and the Paris Climate Agreement

The most high-profile and contentious of these rollbacks has been the decision by President Trump's administration to have America withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. According to the New York Times, Scott Pruitt is now going to have a leading role in navigating America's withdrawal from the agreement.

This is notable since high-profile lawyers from the State Department are usually in charge of mapping out a legal path for these kinds of issues. Pruitt has said that the priority of the EPA will be to continue dealing with "tangible" pollution, like cleaning up Superfund sites that require a long-term response.