By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee for director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), passed another hurdle Thursday on his way to Senate confirmation.
Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-0 to send the Oklahoma attorney general’s nomination to the full Senate. He is expected to easily gain approval in the Republican-majority upper chamber.
The committee vote came despite a second day of boycotts by its Democratic members aimed at slowing confirmation of Trump appointees. The Republican majority suspended committee rules requiring at least two members of the minority party to be in attendance and went ahead with the balloting.
Democrats Want More Information about Pruitt’s Stand on Climate Change
In Pruitt’s case, Democrats charge that he misrepresented his record during the confirmation hearings. They especially point to his refusal to agree that human activity is largely to blame for climate change. Pruitt said climate change is “subject to more debate.” When asked his opinion on climate change, Pruitt said his personal opinion was immaterial.
The Los Angeles Times says Pruitt might have a tough time dealing with California’s unique tough emissions controls on vehicles, which Pruitt has questioned. “Many such provocations by past administrations eager to flex their executive muscle have gone sideways,” say LA Times reporters Evan Halper and Chris Megerian.
Trump’s selection of Pruitt was controversial from the start. As the attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt was openly disdainful of the EPA and was a defender of fossil fuels and coal. He sued the EPA numerous times and also created a “Federalism Unit” within the AG office to battle against what he viewed as overreach by the federal government.
Pruitt’s official biography calls him “a national leader in the cause to restore the proper balance of power between the states and federal government” and a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”
Before being elected Oklahoma’s attorney general in November 2012, he served eight years in the Oklahoma State Senate. There he was a leading voice for fiscal responsibility, religious freedom and pro-life issues, according to Pruitt’s biography.
But environmentalist groups opposed Pruitt’s nomination from the start. The Sierra Club labeled Pruitt “unfit” to lead the EPA. “Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires,” the Sierra Club statement said. “He is a climate science denier who regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA protections.”
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and freshman composition at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield will publish the paperback edition of David’s latest book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever.”