Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The confirmation vote comes after contentious hearings during which Democratic lawmakers questioned Pruitt over his ties to fossil fuel companies, his multiple legal challenges to EPA regulations and his public statements questioning the science behind climate change. The ruling, in response to a public records request from an advocacy group, came a day before a planned Senate vote to confirm Pruitt as Donald Trump's chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Sen.
"I reminded my colleagues that the release of these documents could be imminent and that we would be wise to wait to vote on Mr Pruitt's nomination until we had the opportunity to review them - and shame on us if we didn't", DE senator, and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Tom Carper said. However, for Democrats tired of an administration that cares very little about climate change, any rallying point they can get behind is good enough for them.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah said Pruitt wants to cut back on environmental regulations that harm businesses while still protecting the environment.
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of ME was the only Republican to vote against him.
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Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, said there was no good reason not the delay the vote.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said West Virginia has a friend in Pruitt.
President trump standing firm on his pick. If a Senate vote goes in his favor today he will become the administrator for the EPA.
In his six years as Oklahoma's attorney general, he filed 14 lawsuits challenging EPA regulations like limits on carbon emissions and a rule which meant industries had to clean up polluted wastewater. They are are elected to represent their constituents' best interests, but instead voted to protect corporate greed. Employees at the agency launched an unprecedented revolt ahead of the vote, reportedly calling senators' offices to block Pruitt's confirmation, while more than 700 former officials wrote letters to Congress. Democrats, too, stepped up the pressure on their Republican colleagues.
Democrats wanted to delay the vote until requested emails are released next week.