WASHINGTON, D.C. – Justice Samuel Alito swore-in the new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in Washington on Friday, and Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono is not celebrating.
Senator Hirono, a Democrat, took to the Senate floor to highlight “how Scott Pruitt’s record of fighting EPA’s work disqualifies him from leading the agency charged with protecting the environment,” according to a media release.
“Mr. Pruitt’s record paints a clear picture: his priorities directly conflict with the EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment. He is much more concerned about protecting corporate interests than keeping our communities healthy and safe from pollution,” Hirono said. “We’ve come too far over the past eight years to let someone like Scott Pruitt destroy the progress we’ve made.”
Hawaii’s other Democratic senator, Brian Schatz, also opposed Pruitt’s nomination.
“Scott Pruitt is a professional climate denier. That is his job. He has made his political bones trying to shred the EPA’s ability to enforce the laws that protect clean air and water,” said Senator Schatz back in January. “If you are not a climate denier yourself, do not put one in charge of the EPA.”
Schatz joined other Senate Democrats in a failed attempt to delay the vote on Pruitt following a judge’s ruling late Thursday that Pruitt’s office must turn over approximately 3,000 emails relating to his communications with the fossil fuel industry by next Tuesday, Schatz office said. They tried to argue that Senators, and the public, should have time to review and consider the new emails before a vote is held.
“I’m honored to lead U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ready to get to work for the American people!” wrote Pruitt on his new U.S. EPA Administrator Facebook page. “I look forward to working with the dedicated employees on our shared vision to protect our environment for future generations.”