Scott Pruitt, Trump’s environment pick, gets Senate approval

Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in at the Executive Office in Washington, 17 FebruaryImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMr Pruitt took the oath alongside his wife Marilyn

US President Donald Trump’s nominee has been sworn in to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Scott Pruitt, a fierce critic of the agency, was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate despite Democratic attempts to delay the confirmation.

A judge in Oklahoma on Thursday ordered him to release, by Tuesday, emails he exchanged with oil and gas executives.

Democrats boycotted an earlier vote over his email refusal and claimed he was too close to energy companies.

They held the Senate floor through the night to put pressure on the chamber to delay the confirmation vote until the emails, which were exchanged while he was Oklahoma attorney general, were handed over.

But the Senate voted in favour of his confirmation by 52 to 46, and he was sworn in on Friday.

Mr Pruitt, 48, had refused to hand over the emails, at the request of a liberal watchdog, for more than two years.

Oil and gas industry stooge? Analysis by Matt McGrath, BBC environment correspondent

Mr Pruitt is perhaps the most controversial appointment in the history of the EPA – the Oklahoma attorney general has spent years fighting the role and reach of the organisation he now heads.

Hundreds of former EPA staff members wrote an open letter against his appointment, some calling him an “unqualified extremist”.

Environmental campaigners see him as an oil and gas industry stooge who is “lukewarm” on the threat posed by climate change – they fear that hard-won environmental regulations will be overturned.
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Scott Pruitt, Trump’s environment pick, gets Senate approval
News Source BBC



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