Scott Pruitt has been confirmed to head the EPA by the Senate in a 52 to 46 vote. Liberal Susan Collins voted against Pruitt, while democrats Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp voted in favor. Pruitt had initiated dozens of lawsuits against the EPA when it was headed by Lisa Jackson then Gina McCarthy. The White House has hinted that President Donald Trump has at least one and probably more Executive Orders for the EPA that he didn’t want to disclose until after Pruitt was confirmed.
The EPA has been under fire during the Obama years for manufacturing false science reports and fabricating benefits by the heavy handed regulations they pushed through. Scott Pruitt fought them tooth and nail and I expect him to clean house there, especially if he can identify those employees who have sworn to sabotage the Trump agenda and are using secret accounts to communicate, a direct violation of US law.
Meanwhile, the union that represents Environmental Protection Agency employees is planning to continue “the resistance” if Scott Pruitt is confirmed to lead the agency. The NY Times reported Thursday that the union was already urging employees to call their Senators to oppose Pruitt. However, given Democrats’ limited power to block nominees it seems likely Pruitt will be confirmed. At that point, the EPA union is considering hiring a PR firm to oppose him:
“I’ve been here for 30 years, and I’ve never called my senator about a nominee before,” said an E.P.A. employee in North Carolina who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of losing her job.
The calls to senators come on top of an anti-Pruitt protest last week by Chicago E.P.A. employees, and agency workers say that if Mr. Pruitt is confirmed, they intend to amplify their resistance to him, taking their case to the American public.
“At this point, it’s just, ‘call your senator,’” Mr. O’Grady, the union president, said. “We plan on more demonstrations, more rallies. I think you will see the employees’ union reaching out to N.G.O.s and having alliances with them,” he added, referring to nongovernmental organizations. “We’re looking at working with P.R. firms.”