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Climate Change Skeptic Scott Pruitt Is Now Going to Run the EPA

The Senate voted to let the fossil fuel-loving former Oklahoma attorney general run the agency despite opposition from hundreds of current and former staff.

Lauren Messman

Lauren Messman

Scott Pruitt. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Senate voted to put Scott Pruitt—a fossil fuel-loving, climate change-doubting former Oklahoma attorney general—in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, despite fierce opposition from hundreds of the agency's current and former employees, Politico reports.

The 52-46 vote was divided down party lines, except for Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine who voted against Pruitt, and Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota who voted for his confirmation. 

As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt fought against President Obama's climate change regulations and sued the agency he's now going to run 14 times. Now as head of the EPA, Pruitt will have to regulate the very companies he's sought to protect, like Continental Resources and Devon Energy. He was confirmed before having to disclose thousands of emails he exchanged with fossil fuel companies he's fought for in the past. 

Pruitt will likely aid Trump in his vision to "get rid of" the EPA "in almost every form." The Trump administration has already placed a press gag order on the agency's staff, told them not to believe what they see in the news, and planned to vet all scientific studies before they can be released to the public. Now that Pruitt is running the show, Trump is reportedly planning a trip to EPA headquarters where he will likely sign a string of executive orders to revamp the agency as a whole.