Senate confirms Scott Pruitt as EPA chief despite concerns

Posted February 19, 2017

The US Senate has confirmed fossil fuel ally and global warming sceptic Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), installing a legal expert at the helm of a department he has repeatedly sued. Pruitt was confirmed after a vote to delay his confirmation until emails ordered released by a judge could be reviewed by the Senators.

Pruitt as the attorney general in Oklahoma has sued the EPA and said he curtailed the agency's regulatory reach.

While Republican Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, called the insistence on seeing the emails "ridiculous" and said Pruitt is "the most thoroughly vetted nominee we've ever had to lead this agency", Democrats questioned why the emails are being so closely guarded.

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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who is featured in the ad, called the vote to confirm Pruitt "an epic ram job" and called Pruitt "the tool and the minion of the fossil fuel industry". Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, and Sen.

As Alabama's attorney general, odd says he worked with Pruitt a number of times on behalf of their respective states in order to rein in excessive regulations at the federal level. Pruitt made known, during his Senate confirmation hearing, his disbelief of scientific studies about climate change. "His actions leave me with considerable doubts about whether his vision for the EPA is consistent with the Agency's critical mission to protect human health and the environment". The sole Republican holdout was Susan Collins of ME, who voted against Pruitt.

"Scott Pruitt is now set to be the most unsafe EPA Administrator in the history of our country". "Attorney General Pruitt is a common sense guy", says Blunt.

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King supported the delay, and warned colleagues that they will have to explain their vote to future generations.

As Attorney General, Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations. President Trump campaigned on promises to loosen regulations on energy production and vowed to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

While Pruitt has channeled industry complaints to the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general, he's shown no concern whatsoever over the fracking-associated earthquakes that continually rattle his state (1,639 of them in the past year, according to this website).

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Manchin, for his part, was the sole Democrat to join Republicans to vote in favor of Steven Mnuchin heading the Treasury Secretary and confirm Jeff Sessions as USA attorney general. Environmental activists are upset that the vote was allowed to happen before next week's public release of emails between Pruitt and energy company executives.