Two Democrats voted yes, one Republican voted no.
The Senate has confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA with 52 yes votes and 46 no votes.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican to vote no. Pruitt received two Democrat yes votes: Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota and Joe Manchin from West Virginia.
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 17, 2017
The Democrats spent the majority of the debate arguing about the catastrophes that will occur if Pruitt becomes EPA director. But instead Pruitt wants to return a lot of environmental power back to the states:
Upon Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation, the Trump administration intends to waste little time issuing directives scaling back high-profile EPA regulations, including a rule cutting carbon emissions from power plants and another bringing more bodies of water under federal jurisdiction, according to several people close to the administration.
Former President Barack Obama mounted an ambitious push to enact rules aimed at the environment, especially climate change, during his last years in office. The next few years are likely to see an all-out war over how much of that legacy will be preserved, including U.S. participation in a landmark climate change accord reached in Paris in 2015.
The Democrats also brought up that Pruitt has sued the EPA numerous times. They fail to realize that he did so on behalf of oil companies in Oklahoma. Those are the same oil companies that provides jobs for the majority of Oklahomans. Without the energy industry, Oklahoma could not survive.
1:16PM EST: The Senate has confirmed Scott Pruitt.
1:11PM EST: Senate now voting to confirm Pruitt.
12:58PM EST: Vote fails to extend the debate.
12:55PM EST: The Senate is currently voting to extend the debate until next week. I doubt they will get the majority.
Yesterday, employees at the EPA have asked senators not to confirm Pruitt to lead the the agency. The New York Times reported:
“Mr. Pruitt’s background speaks for itself, and it comes on top of what the president wants to do to E.P.A.,” said John O’Grady, a biochemist at the agency since the first Bush administration and president of the union representing the E.P.A.’s 15,000 employees nationwide.
Nicole Cantello, an E.P.A. lawyer who heads the union in the Chicago area, said: “It seems like Trump and Pruitt want a complete reversal of what E.P.A. has done. I don’t know if there’s any other agency that’s been so reviled. So it’s in our interests to do this.”
So with Pruitt in charge what does that mean for the disgruntled employees? Hell:
“What it means is that it’s going to be a blood bath when Pruitt gets in there,” said Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican former governor of New Jersey and the E.P.A. administrator during the first term of President George W. Bush.
It’s hard to fire federal workers due to Civil Service rules.
Thing is, Pruitt wants to hand more power back to the states. What a concept, eh? Because we all know that the EPA has done a stellar jobs with environmental disasters….it has caused.
Cantello, who I mentioned above, has spent the majority of her career at the EPA. She concentrates on cleaning pollution in the Great Lakes. But now she fears all that work “will be abandoned.”
I’d really like to know why it’d be so bad for the states that border the Great Lakes take care of those lakes. Why must a federal agency do it?