Republican Senator Collins opposes Pruitt for US EPA chief

EPA Chief Equates Climate Change With ‘Religious Belief’

The order came a day before the Senate plans to vote on confirming Pruitt to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a post President Trump nominated him for in December.

The Sierra Club accuses Pruitt of conspiring with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA protections while he was Oklahoma's attorney general.

Collins told Maine Public that she has "significant concerns" over Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's active opposition to EPA policy and his lawsuits against the agency on policies important to Maine, like mercury controls for coal-fired plants and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Susan Collins of ME said Wednesday night she'll vote against the nominee in Friday's final vote, saying he's simply not fit to lead the agency.

". the Committee is concerned that these encrypted and off-the-record communication practices, if true, run afoul of federal record-keeping requirements, leaving information that could be responsive to future Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and congressional requests unattainable". One EPA worker is quoted as saying, "I'm suddenly spending my days comparing the importance of the oath I took when I started my career service and the code that I have as an American".

His nomination, she continued, "also dovetails to overall attack on the EPA, environmental protections, and climate action that has become a hallmark of the Trump Administration, also symbolized by its rush to complete the widely opposed Dakota Access Pipeline Project". But ultimately, it was not enough to persuade Maine's senior senator.

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Sen. Tom Carper of DE, the ranking Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said if the judge orders the Oklahoma attorney general's office to comply with the request, emails and other documents could become available within days.

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of ME, issued a statement Wednesday praising Collins and King for their opposition to Pruitt. "Pollution from beyond our borders threatens our health, yet Scott Pruitt has been a champion for the polluting industries that send that pollution to ME".

We thank Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for standing with science, our families' health, clean water and air and opposing Pruitt's nomination and urge them to do everything within their power to reject President Trump's EPA pick. Collins has shown that she listened to the thousands of Mainers who called her office, wrote her letters and marched outside her offices. As the only member of her party to thus far make this commitment, we want Senator Collins to know that we have her back on this issue.

"Of the remaining nominees, Scott Pruitt should be next on the challenge list".

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