Friday, February 17, 2017

Today, America turned from green to coal-and-oil black

President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt
After years of contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to congressional Republicans, hoping to reverse decades of environmental progress in the nation, the fossil fuel industry today won their battle as the United States Senate voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Coral Davenport reports for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday confirmed Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, putting a seasoned legal opponent of the agency at the helm of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle major regulations on climate change and clean water — and to cut the size and authority of the government’s environmental enforcer.  

Senators voted 52-46 to confirm Mr. Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has built a career out of suing to block the E.P.A.’s major environmental rules, and has called for the dissolution of much of the agency’s authority. One Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, crossed party lines to vote against Mr. Pruitt, while two Democrats, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp, both from coal-rich states where voters generally oppose environmental rules, voted for him.  

Senate Democrats railed all night on the Senate floor against Mr. Pruitt and urged Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to delay the confirmation vote until after next Tuesday, when the Oklahoma attorney general’s office is under order to release about 3,000 of Mr. Pruitt’s emails related to his communications with the fossil fuel industry. 

But the effort did little but deprive Democrats of sleep.

Democrats, environmental groups and even current E.P.A. employees have harshly criticized Mr. Pruitt’s record of fighting the mission of the agency he will now lead, as well as his close ties with the fossil fuel industry he will now regulate. Both opponents and supporters of Mr. Pruitt say he is well positioned to carry out Mr. Trump’s campaign trail promises to dismantle the agency and slash its ranks of employees. Mr. Trump vowed to “get rid” of the agency “in almost every form.”

A 2014 investigation by The Times found that energy lobbyists drafted letters for Mr. Pruitt to send, on state stationery, to the E.P.A., outlining the economic hardship of the environmental rules. Many of the coal, oil and gas companies represented by those lobbyists were also some his largest campaign contributors. Mr. Pruitt also worked jointly with those companies in filing multiple lawsuits against major E.P.A. regulations.

Democrats say the emails to be released on Tuesday could reveal more, and possibly disqualifying, information about those relationships.

“I reminded my colleagues that the release of these documents could be imminent and that we would be wise wait to vote on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination until we had the opportunity to review them — and shame on us if we didn’t,” said Senator Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. 

“Mr. Pruitt has been nominated by a man who, as a nominee, as a president-elect, and now as president, has made clear his goals to degrade and destroy the E.P.A.,” Mr. Carper said. “Like many things President Trump says, we ask ourselves, ‘Did he mean it?’ With the nomination of Mr. Pruitt, it’s clear he did.”

How Senators voted on the Pruitt confirmation

Read the full story here

Tell us what you think in the comment box below. Do you agree that this is a truly shameful day for America or are we Pruitt critics out of touch. Are you starting to think that your anti-Hillary vote might not have been worth the consequences, or do you believe that reigning in the EPA is necessary to make America great again?  If you can't get the comment box to work, please post on our Facebook page.

Like this? Use form in upper right to receive free updates
See popular posts from the last 30 days in right column --- >>

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article