zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Feb 17, 2017 4:02 PM
The Senate voted to confirm Scott Pruitt, an outspoken critic of Obama-era climate rules, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency – the very agency he has clashed with in the past – ushering in what are likely to be dramatic changes to the agency.
In a 52-46 vote that passed largely along party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate on Friday cleared Pruitt’s nomination to be EPA chief over objections of Democrats who argued he would undermine the agency’s core mission of safeguarding the air and water. All Republicans except Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted for Pruitt, while all Democrats except Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted against him.
The confirmation vote passed despite pleas from Democrats to delay the vote due to ongoing litigation regarding emails that a liberal group had requested from the office of Pruitt, who is currently Oklahoma’s attorney general until he is sworn in as the EPA administrator.
Pruitt is expected to quickly begin work to fulfill President Donald Trump’s vow to eliminate a water pollution rule and the Clean Power Plan that forces states to slash greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. Trump is poised to sign directives setting those changes in motion soon after Pruitt is confirmed.