Pruitt sworn in as EPA chief

Pruitt sworn in as EPA chief
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Scott Pruitt was sworn into office late Friday as the 14th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
 
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito administered the oath of office to Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. President Trump and Vice President Pence, who have sworn in most of the previous Cabinet officials, are both out of town.
 
The swearing-in ceremony came hours after the Senate voted 52-46, mostly along party lines, to confirm Pruitt, capping off a frequently contentious nomination process.
 
Pruitt now leads the agency that he sued more than a dozen times, often in concert with industry, during former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhatever happened to nuclear abolition? On The Money: Trump presses GM, union to start talks over closed plant | Trump renews call to cut arts, PBS funding | Alan Krueger, former Obama economic adviser, dies at 58 | Americans expected to bet .5B on March Madness Obama reminisces about visit to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day: 'It'll always be O'Bama' MORE's tenure. Pruitt had pushed to stop regulations that the former Oklahoma attorney general and his allies saw as overreach by the federal government.
 
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The agency has 15,000 employees around the country and is responsible for enforcing laws on air, water and ground pollution, as well as numerous others.
 
To Republicans, Pruitt represented in a nominee exactly what the EPA needs: A leader who will roll back Obama’s aggressive environmental agenda and give states more power to enforce environmental laws.
 
Democrats said that Pruitt’s litigious history with the EPA shows that he does not support its mission. They also pushed to delay his vote pending the release of emails between he and his staff at the attorney general’s office and industry.
 
In the Senate, Pruitt garnered the support of nearly all of the Republican senators who voted, as well as Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinManchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Murkowski, Manchin call for 'responsible solutions' to climate change MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampAnnual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (N.D.), both of whom are running for reelection next year in states carried by Trump.
 
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump MORE (R-Maine) joined all of the other Democrats in opposing Pruitt. Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Trump: 'I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be' Santorum: Trump should 'send emails to a therapist' instead of tweeting MORE (R-Ariz.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (D-Ind.) weren’t available to vote.
 
Sources say that Trump is planning to visit the EPA soon and sign a number of executive orders concerning regulations and other priorities he would like to get started with at the agency. Inside EPA first reported on the orders earlier this week.
 
Pruitt is planning to address EPA employees at the agency’s headquarters Tuesday.