This blog was updated on 2/18/17: Senators did not consider postponement of the vote to confirm Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, despite requests by democrats to wait until they had a chance to read court ordered emails that he has been required to produce by 2/21/17,at the behest of an Oklahoma judge. These emails are related to his correspondence with fossil fuel executives while he was Oklahoma’s attorney general. Around 1:15 pm (ET) on 2/17/17, the Senate held a vote prior to the senators heading back to their home states for the holiday weekend. Mr. Pruitt was confirmed (52-46).
It is up to “We the People” to keep contacting our senators to remind them that they have a duty to us, and this country’s well being before party loyalty.
The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 or YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE.
On 2/17, democrats were asking for a delay of the US senate confirmation hearing until 2/21/17, when Mr. Pruitt has been ordered to deliver to the Oklahoma courts, its ordered thousands of emails that Mr. Pruitt had exchanged with fossil fuel interests in his job as state attorney general of Oklahoma.
As per a 2/17/17 US News & World report by Alan Neuhauser, “Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has sued the EPA in defense of fossil fuel interests more than a dozen times, was expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Friday (2/17/17) to lead the EPA, despite a state court order Friday demanding he turn over some 2,600 emails withheld from an open records request.”
“A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the New York Times in 2014 – which relied in part on Pruitt’s email correspondence – found that fracking rules, as well as many of the letters Pruitt sent to the EPA, Interior Department and White House in opposition to environmental regulations, had in fact been drafted by energy industry lobbyists and simply passed off by Pruitt as his own.”
“The investigation also detailed how Pruitt – who has questioned the extent of human’s role fueling climate change – became a key player in what the Times described as a “secretive alliance” of energy firms and attorneys general, drawing close to oil baron Harold Hamm, chief executive of one of the biggest oil and gas drilling companies in Oklahoma and a confidante of President Donald Trump.”
“Pruitt’s office initially provided about 400 emails, but withheld another 2,600. The Center for Media and Democracy, represented by the ACLU, filed a lawsuit last week alleging that the attorney general’s office was not complying with the requests.”
“Only one Republican,Mine Sen. Susan Collins, has said she would vote against Pruitt. However, Democrats Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp, whose states of West Virginia and North Dakota heavily rely on fossil fuels, have said they would support Pruitt, stating that his lawsuits have pushed against federal overreach by the EPA.”
Other news publications are stating that the republican Senator John McCain will abstain from voting.
On 2/17/16, Alex Guillén of Politico, reported the following, “Judge orders Pruitt to release emails by Tuesday 2/21/17.”