Senate delays vote on Trump EPA pick after Democrats boycott

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By Timothy Gardner

<span class="articleLocation”>Republican U.S. senators on Wednesday delayed a
committee vote on President Donald Trump’s pick to head the
Environmental Protection Agency, after the panel’s Democrats
boycotted the meeting, saying that nominee Scott Pruitt doubts
the science of climate change.

The boycott in the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee delayed the transition to a new administrator for the
agency. Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, said he could not
support Pruitt, a Republican and the attorney general of
Oklahoma, for a public health position because he “denies the
sum of empirical science and the urgency to act on climate
change.”

At a confirmation hearing held by the panel earlier this
month Pruitt, who has sued the agency he intends to run more
than a dozen times on behalf of the oil-drilling state Oklahoma,
expressed doubt about climate change science. But he said he
would be would be obliged for now to uphold the agency’s 2009 “endangerment finding” that carbon dioxide emissions harm public
health.

Republicans decried the move by the Democrats. “This is
simply a senatorial temper tantrum,” said Senator Dan Sullivan,
a Republican.

In 2013, Republican senators boycotted then-President Barack
Obama’s pick for the agency, Gina McCarthy, saying they were
unsatisfied by her answers to more than 1,000 written questions
they had asked her. She was eventually confirmed.



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