Republican senators won't wait on Pruitt confirmation, despite thousands of missing emails

Republican senators won't wait on Pruitt confirmation, despite thousands of missing emails”

On Friday, the Senate voted to confirm Pruitt's nomination to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Senate voted 52-46 in favor of Pruitt, largely along party lines, with one Republican defecting, Susan Collins of ME, and two Democrats in favor: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, two states with substantial coal industries. Two Democrats, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, supported Pruitt, while only one Republican, Susan Collins of ME, voted against him.

Pruitt, who on his LinkedIn page described himself as a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda", has been an antagonist of the EPA, suing the agency 13 times throughout is time as Oklahoma's attorney general, according to Mother Jones. He filed 14 lawsuits as attorney general challenging EPA regulations, including President Barack Obama's plan to limit carbon emissions.

Environmentalists have long complained about Pruitt's close ties with the oil and gas industry.

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Pruitt promised senators last month that his "cooperative federalism" approach would not mean an end to nationwide environmental regulation, but rather "meaningful collaboration between the EPA and the states to achieve important environmental objectives".

"Pruitt has demonstrated time and again his unwillingness to accept the science of climate change and his contempt for the laws protecting our air and drinking water", he added. Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups that predict he will roll back EPA's enforcement efforts.

Scott Pruitt was approved Friday by a vote of 52-46. But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has said she would not vote for Pruitt, and Sen. In a last-minute lobbying campaign, the labor union that represents EPA employees urged their members to call senators and urge them to vote against Pruitt. Democrats warned that Pruitt, chosen by President Donald Trump, will reverse years of improvements in the county's air and water quality. A number of other conservative state attorneys general joined many of his lawsuits, including Ohio's Mike DeWine.

King says Pruitt built his career suing to block environmental rules and has called for weakening the EPA's authority.

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Pruitt is set for his final confirmation hearing today, Friday 17, in the Senate.

Trump is likely to issue executive orders as soon as next week to reshape the EPA, sources said. After Democratic senators twice boycotted the EPW Committee vote due to concerns over Pruitt's conflicts of interests and failure to fulfill open records requests, Republicans suspended committee rules and advanced a vote on his confirmation on the Senate floor.

"Additionally, I was pleased that he committed to review EPA's decision to not process the personal injury and economic loss claims related to the Gold King Mine spill", he said. Ed Markey, D-Mass. "They have a right to know what the record is of the chief protector of the environment in the United States".

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