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Climate Sceptic Scott Pruitt Confirmed To Lead EPA

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The Wall Street Journal

Confirmation will likely lead to a rollback of Obama-era climate and environmental regulations

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017, file photo,Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Senate Republicans are poised to use their majority to confirm Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, despite calls from Democrats for a delay.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON—The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt on Friday to be President Donald Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a move that kicks off in earnest Mr. Trump’s push to roll back Obama-era climate and environmental regulations.

Mr. Pruitt, who was confirmed in a 52-46 vote, faced opposition from most Democrats, who said the nominee didn’t sufficiently satisfy their concerns about his connections to fossil-fuel companies in Oklahoma.

Democrats have prolonged the confirmation processes for a number of Mr. Trump’s nominees with procedural tactics at the committee level and on the Senate floor, including Mr. Pruitt.

But given Republicans’ 52-48 Senate majority, the Democrats’ tactics have failed to derail most of the nominees, including Mr. Pruitt. One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted to oppose his nomination, but other Republicans voted in support, along with two Democrats from states with big fossil-fuel interests: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Mr. Pruitt will officially be sworn in as EPA administrator at an event later Friday, according to a White House spokeswoman. As soon as next week, the Trump administration intends to issue directives scaling back high-profile EPA regulations, including a rule cutting carbon emissions from power plants and another bringing more bodies of water under federal jurisdiction, according to several people close to the administration.