Readers may or may not have heard of President Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The pick, like most of Trump’s other nominations, has proven controversial. Lawmakers held a confirmation hearing earlier this month in which they probed Pruitt with hundreds of questions to determine whether he is qualified for the appointment. The most recent report is that Democrats did not turn up for a scheduled vote on the nominee this week.
What exactly makes Pruitt so controversial? According to the Washington Post, Pruitt has a history of opposing the EPA, having fought the agency during Barack Obama’s presidency on regulations concerning smog, power plant carbon emissions, mercury pollution, and water quality. During his time in Oklahoma, Pruitt established an office dedicated to fight against unjustified federal regulation.
In short, Democrats oppose Pruitt on the basis of a “combative” posture toward the EPA. Pruitt’s questioning of the extent to which human activity is contributing to climate change are another area of concern for Democrats. Exactly how the EPA will look under Pruitt is not yet clear, of course, but the agency is likely to have a diminished influence on industries.
Any changes in federal regulations from the agency under Pruitt’s leadership, of course, will need to be carefully monitored by businesses, particularly by those responsible for implementing compliance programs. On such matters, an experienced environmental law attorney can be an essential resource for solid information, guidance and advocacy.