Former and current employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed opposition to President Donald Trump's pick to run the agency on Monday - in an open letter and a small street protest - reflecting divisions over the new administration's plans to slash regulation.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Don Parrish, AFBF's senior director of congressional and regulatory relations told the Washington Post that he believes Pruitt's strengths lie in his past work in state agency.
The Biloxi congressman is a co-sponsor of what is basically the one-sentence House resolution "to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency" with fellow Republicans Rep. Thomas Massie, of the 4th District in Kentucky and Rep. Barry Loudermilk of the 11th Georgia District. "However, every EPA administrator has a fundamental obligation to act in the public's interest based on current law and the best available science".
Almost 450 former EPA officials also signed a letter sent to the U.S. Senate saying that Pruitt is the wrong man for the job.
Senate leadership has yet to schedule a confirmation vote on Pruitt's nomination. "By contrast, there is little or no evidence of Mr. Pruitt taking initiative to protect and advance public health and environmental protection in his state".
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Pruitt has a history of siding with industry and has been reluctant to accept "the strong scientific consensus on climate change", they wrote.
Even though the EPA was created under Richard Nixon, the agency's employees have clashed in the past with Republican leaders, particularly under the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. Additionally, the newly elected Senator, who handily beat Mark Kirk in the November 2016 election, said she was "troubled" by statements Devos made regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Gaetz has said his bill would shift responsibility for enforcing environmental regulations to the states.
In the build up to the issuing of the legislation to congress, Congressman Matt Gaetz had said that if his legislation were to pass, all of its activities would fall under different state entities in order to prevent people from experiencing the "oppressive jurisdiction of the EPA".