The U.S. Senate Friday confirmed Oklahoma attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with votes from Alabama Republican senators Richard Shelby and Luther Strange.
Pruitt was confirmed in 52-46 party-line vote, with Democratic senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also voting in favor of him.
The new EPA Administrator will now endeavor to rein in the EPA, from what some, including Alabama’s own Sen. Shelby considers to be “out-of-control bureaucracy.”
Shelby says the Oklahoma Republican will help “put the agency on a new path.”
“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,” said Shelby. “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.”
Alabama’s newest senator, and Pruitt’s former AG colleague, Luther Strange, praised the new EPA Administrator saying Pruitt has seen “first-hand the devastation that rivers of red-tape can create” and is excited about the work he will do in the position.
“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,” said Strange. “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.”
Strange continued, “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.”