Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate to head the EPA today in a 52-46 vote.
According to the Hill, “Pruitt’s confirmation came despite repeated pleas from Democrats to delay the vote due to ongoing litigation regarding emails that a liberal group had requested from the office of Pruitt.”
Democrats said Pruitt was unfit to serve the EPA because he has filed multiple lawsuits against the agency, is a climate change skeptic and an ally of the fossil fuel industry. Republicans supported him because he has state government experience and will roll back what they saw as executive overreach by the Obama administration.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is happy with the decision, according to The New York Times: “Pruitt is just the candidate we need at the helm of the EPA,” McConnell said. “He’s exceptionally qualified. He’s dedicated to environmental protection. And, as someone with state government experience, he understands the real-world consequences of EPA actions and knows that balance is the key to making policies that are sustainable over the long-term.”
The EPA Twitter account spoke up for the first time since Trump was elected to congratulate Pruitt.