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Pruitt Confirmed as EPA Administrator

The U.S. Senate today approved Scott Pruitt as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The confirmation came despite attempts to delay the Senate vote following an order yesterday from an Oklahoma state judge for Pruitt — the state’s attorney general — to release about 3,000 emails between his office and members of the oil and gas companies, as well as other energy interests.

The Senate voted 52-46, largely along party lines.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said that the “near party-line vote to confirm Pruitt marks a new low in the GOP’s embrace of an aggressively anti-environment agenda that caters to virtually every polluting industry in America.”

He added that there has never been a nominee for EPA administrator opposed so strongly by environmental and public health advocates, scientists, and hundreds of current and former EPA officials.

“Considering the unprecedented opposition to this nominee and the potential bombshell looming in those emails, the public deserved much better from the Senate,” he said.

Immediately following the Senate vote, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune tweeted that he was “deeply disappointed” in the senators who backed “#PollutingPruitt.”

Lead image credit: Gage Skidmore | Flickr