Loud confirmation fight seems likely for Attorney General Pruitt

Loud confirmation fight seems likely for Attorney General Pruitt 

Posted: 4:00 am Thursday, December 8th, 2016

By Jamie Dupree

It didn’t take long for critics to take shots at Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, as President-Elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency was swiftly denounced by Democratic Senators and liberal interest groups, likely signaling a big fight over his confirmation next year.

“Anyone leading EPA who wants to ignore science or look out for special interests at the expense of public health can expect a fight with me,” said Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, who will be the top Democrat on the panel that holds hearings on Pruitt’s selection.

“Hard to imagine worse EPA pick than Scott Pruitt. This is very, very bad,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), as Democrats have long looked at Pruitt as a toxic player on environmental issues.

“As its leader, Scott Pruitt would have EPA stand for Every Polluters Ally,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

Republicans meanwhile were elated.

“It’s not that he’s anti-regulation, it’s that he’s anti-overreach,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), as he praised the pick of the President-Elect.

“I look forward to watching him dismantle the EPA’s Clean Power Plan piece by piece as EPA administrator,” said Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT).

It could lead to fiery showdown in January over climate change, pollution regulations and more.

For Oklahoma politics, Pruitt’s choice made some wonder whether that was good or bad for Governor Mary Fallin, who has been rumored to be a possible choice for Interior Secretary in a Trump Administration.

Mr. Trump takes office on January 20; confirmation hearings will start before then on Pruitt and other nominees in the Senate.