The Senate voted on Friday 52-46 to confirm the appointment of Scott Pruitt as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a longstanding opponent of the agency.
Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General, has sued the E.P.A. a number of times to block environmental protections put in place by the Obama administration, such as the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule, and has said climate change science is “unsettled.”
He seems a perfect fit for the Trump administration, the president having once claimed climate change was a Chinese hoax.
“For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control, anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn,” Trump said in a statement at the time of the appointment, back in December. “My administration strongly believes in environmental protection, and Scott Pruitt will be a powerful advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety, and opportunity.”
Pruitt’s record on LGBTQ rights also leaves plenty to be desired.
As attorney general, he opposed same-sex marriage, arguing that Oklahoma could continue to define marriage as between one man and one woman, after the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
In more recent years, he joined 10 other states to block implementation of the directive by the Obama administration to public schools instructing them to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.