Pruitt as the New Head of the EPA
After an unsuccessful all-night debate staged by Senate democrats, Scott Pruitt was confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Nathan Rott, Senate confirms Schoot Pruitt to Lead Environmental Protection Agency, www.npr.org, (Feb. 17, 2017). In his previous position as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times. Id. During the debate Senate democrats called him unfit for the job, due to his promise to scale back the EPA’s “activist agenda.” Id.
It is expected that scaling back means Pruitt will implement both budget and staff cuts once assuming his new position. Id. During his confirmation hearings Pruitt stated he wanted to restore balance to the EPA, implying that farmers, ranchers, oil and gas, and industry in general have been overregulated by the previous administration. Id.
Eliminating entire programs is not that easy, so the agency itself and major national environmental regulations will most likely survive a Trump presidency. Id. However, Pruitt still has the power to defund certain programs that he doesn’t agree with/believes are not useful, and go after staff that are working in areas that he doesn’t agree with; both of which could drastically change the course of environmental protection throughout the country. Id.