By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, February 17, 2017, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) was confirmed by the Senate as the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). US Senators Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and Luther Strange (R-Alabama) both voted for Pruitt.
Senator Shelby said, “Throughout the past eight years, the EPA became an out-of-control bureaucracy focused on advancing the political priorities of the Obama Administration instead of its intended purpose. After reviewing his credentials and meeting with him personally, I am confident that Scott Pruitt will put the agency on a new path. I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt in my role on the EPW Committee to ensure that we protect our environment responsibly, but in a manner that will not unnecessarily stifle job creation and our economy.”
Sen. Shelby said, “I was proud to vote in favor of Scott Pruitt to serve as the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency. As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt in his new role.”
Senator Luther Strange said, “It was truly an honor to vote to confirm my friend Scott Pruitt as the new EPA Director. His commitment to our country and the rule of law is second to none.”
Sen. Strange said, “I have known Scott for a number of years and I am so excited about the good work I know he will do as Director of the EPA. He has seen first-hand the devastation that rivers of red-tape can create for our farmers, small business owners, and other vital industries that are the backbone of the American economy. There is no question that we all want clean water and air for our children and grandchildren, but Scott knows that a one-size-fits-all approach from Washington ignores the unique qualities of individual communities, and can create more harm than good. Scott will ensure that the EPA safeguards for future generations a safe and healthy environment, without creating unnecessary burdens for our country’s job creators. On a personal note, Scott is a dear, personal friend who I know loves this nation and will always seek to do what is right.”
As the former Attorney General for Alabama, Strange and Pruitt worked together a number of times in lawsuits against the Obama Administration’s radical environmental policies in order to rein in what they believe to be excessive regulations at the federal level. Strange led on a letter to Senate Environment Committee Chairman John Barrasso and Ranking Member Tom Carper, along with 23 other state Attorneys General, outlining Pruitt’s stellar record and dedication to protecting the environment while Attorney General of Oklahoma, and their confidence in his ability to achieve the mission of the EPA by working with State and local governments.
The Sierra Club wrote in a statement, “Terrible news out of Washington, DC today – the Senate has confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), despite his being a climate denier, sworn enemy of the EPA, and close ally of the fossil fuel industry. Sierra Club activists are among the millions of Americans who spoke out against Pruitt since he was first nominated, and because of that public opposition he will enter office as the most controversial, unpopular EPA Administrator in history. Scott Pruitt is the most controversial and dangerous EPA chief ever. He will start work next week with a dark cloud of opposition and contention over his head. So now what? We continue the resistance! We hold accountable those senators who voted for Pruitt’s confirmation. We fight back in court. We talk to our friends and get them involved when Pruitt attempts to rollback our bedrock air, water, and climate protections. Time and time again, Scott Pruitt has stood up for polluters, and has left regular Americans harmed by pollution to fend for themselves as they suffer the losses of their health and property.”
Scott Pruitt was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 46.