Senate Democrats Gearing Up For Fight Over Trump’s EPA Pick

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, arrives for the Senate closed briefing in the Capitol on the White House strategy on ISIL on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ... UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, arrives for the Senate closed briefing in the Capitol on the White House strategy on ISIL on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images) MORE LESS
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Democrats in the Senate are preparing to make the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a big fight given Pruitt’s skepticism of climate change.

“This is a four-alarm fire. We are going to do everything we can to stop his nomination,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said on a Thursday call organized by the League of Conservation Voters, according to CNN.

“This is a full-fledged environmental emergency, and we have a person who’s not just a climate denier, but a professional climate denier,” Schatz added, per CNN. “This is going to be a litmus test for every member of the Senate who claims not to be a denier.”

Pruitt is skeptical of climate change and wrote in National Review in May that the science is “far from settled.” He is also one of the state attorneys general who sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

He also has ties to the energy industry. In 2014, the New York Times discovered that a 2011 letter Pruitt sent to the EPA was actually written by lawyers for an energy company in Oklahoma. The letter from Pruitt had “only a few word changes,” according to the New York Times.

Senate Democrats plan to pressure Republicans who do believe in climate change to oppose Pruitt’s nomination.

“We have enough votes to prevent him from going forward if they’ll stick with us,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said, according to CNN.

Whitehouse also said that companies who believe the country should address climate change should also speak out against Pruitt’s nomination.

“If not, we will end up with an EPA that has been corrupted by the fossil fuels industry,” he said, per CNN.

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Notable Replies

  1. As the Sierra Club said, this is like nominating an arsonist to be the fire chief.

  2. It’s right up there with picking a guy opposed to raising the minimum wage to be Labor Secretary (and a trumpf fundraiser), a guy named Putz

    @marby I stopped watching MSNBC the day after the election. 43 minutes of hyper amped up news coverage bemoaning and simultaneously obsessing over the orange thing is not what I need. I even skip over most of the MSM news I normally follow for nearly the same reason. Pretty soon I’ll just be posting babble because I’ll be that uninformed.

  3. Avatar for marby marby says:

    I think this is an extremely important fight for the Democrats. However, I am not so hopeful they will prevail. When Senator Markey from MA was interviewed on MBNBC today, he read some of this nominee’s quotes as examples of why he must be opposed. Even Thomas Roberts (part of the MSNBC liberal media, right?) felt the need to jump in and say “Well, if you read the entire article, Pruitt is more of a climate change skeptic than a climate-change denier.” I really need to stop watching cable TV because the constant reminders that they gave us Donald Trump are making me ill.

  4. Aptly named Putz.

  5. Exactly. It’s 2016 and reporters are still allowing public officials to say climate science “isn’t settled” or “there isn’t consensus” about the role of mankind. Straight out of the tobacco playbook and it’s tolerated more so now than then.

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