Cattlemen Call on Senate to Confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator
After multiple battles with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Obama administration, farm country is cautiously optimistic President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency will be friendly to agriculture.
The city of Fort Collins' plan remains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent of 2005 levels by 2020, 80 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Pruitt has also filed no fewer than 13 lawsuits against the EPA over the course of his legal career, including one over the Clean Power Plan.
Pruitt ducked and dodged questions about the campaign contributions-more than $300,000 and counting-he's taken from oil, gas, and coal companies. "The human ability to measure with precision the extent of that impact is subject to continuing debate and dialogue, as well they should be".
Pressed by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) about whether he intends to leave California's authority in place, Pruitt would only say, "I don't know without going through the process to determine that".
He said he would review it and not presume the outcome.
While providing no transparency on this vast and secretive network of cash in exchange for political influence and state-sanctioned advocacy, Pruitt repeatedly rose to the defense of the fossil-fuel industry.
But the environmental community and a number of states are prepared to challenge any actions - or lack thereof - in court. "I am deeply concerned that his confirmation will lead to the dismantling of critical regulations that have allowed MA and other states to work with the federal government to protect the health and welfare of our residents".
"And I'm telling you, I would start out by doing that". Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Pruitt promised only that he would "review" such a policy.
Pruitt responded by saying, "the state has to have an interest to bring those cases, you don't just bring a lawsuit if there's not been standing or some injury to the state of Oklahoma..." "We need an EPA administrator who will adhere to the science and preserve these protections rather than erode them to the benefit of industry". "It can be used as a mask to say we will do nothing". Mainers have suffered from asthma and other respiratory ailments because of pollution from power plants, manufacturing plants and vehicles produced in states to our west and south. "That's one of the highest asthma rates in the entire United States of America", said Booker.
Though Republicans hold a slim Senate majority, Suh said environmentalists believe they can stop Pruitt's nomination by educating more voters.
At different times, he's promised to keep an "open mind" about us participation in the Paris Climate Accord and also said he will withdraw the nation from the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Rounds asked Pruitt how he would balance economic growth with making certain the nation will have clean air and clean water.
Asked if that represented a division with Trump, Pruitt reiterated, "I do not believe climate change is a hoax". "We should not succumb to personalizing matters", he said. The answer to that question was by no means resolved by Pruitt's confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This earned him strong support from petroleum companies and convinced both his opponents and supporters that he would aggressively carry out Trump's campaign vows to slash EPA regulation to boost drilling and mining. Pruitt said he had tried to "stay in my lane" as Attorney General, and he clearly believes the EPA should have a narrow lane.
"You said earlier you listen to everyone", Merkley said.
"A public office is about serving the public", said Sen. "How can you present that as representing the people of Oklahoma when you simply only consulted an oil company to push its own point of view for its private profit?"
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