EPA employees call on senators to reject Trump EPA pick: report

EPA employees call on senators to reject Trump EPA pick: report
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In an unusual show of opposition for federal employees, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers have been calling their senators to urge them to reject President Trump’s pick to lead their agency, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has sued the EPA more than a dozen times in his current post, alarming many of the agency’s employees, who fear that, if confirmed, he will work to dismantle its progress.

On the campaign trail, Trump railed against the environmental agency, calling it a “disgrace” and vowing to undo federal environmental rules and regulations.

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“Mr. Pruitt’s background speaks for itself, and it comes on top of what the president wants to do to EPA,” John O’Grady, a longtime EPA employee and president of the union representing its workers, told the Times.

Still, the effort to rally the opposition of enough senators to reject Pruitt during his confirmation vote on Friday is a long shot. Only one GOP senator, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWinter Olympians call for action on climate Trump’s CIA pick facing brutal confirmation fight Senate panel to examine Trump officials' election security efforts MORE (Maine), has said she will vote against Trump’s EPA pick. And Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSchumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Fox News poll: Blankenship trails Jenkins, Morrisey in West Virginia primary McConnell tees up Pompeo nomination after dramatic committee vote MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Health Care: Trump's VA pick on the ropes | White House signals it will fight for nominee | Senate panel approves opioid bill | FDA cracking down on e-cig sales to kids Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Senate panel to vote next month on maternal mortality bill MORE (N.D.) have both said they will support Pruitt.

Even with the expected absence of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Memories may be beautiful, yet… Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.), who is set to attend a security conference in Germany on Friday, Pruitt will likely win the support of 52 senators, securing confirmation.

It is unusual for civil servants, such as EPA employees, to so actively oppose a Cabinet nominee. What is more, the Times reports, the move signifies that Pruitt will likely face strong pushback from his own employees once he takes office.

“What it means is that it’s going to be a blood bath when Pruitt gets in there,” former New Jersey Gov. and past EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman (R) told the Times.