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Policy

Scott Pruitt takes the helm at EPA

by Jessica Morrison
February 27, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 9

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Credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom
The U.S. Senate on Feb. 17 confirmed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom
The U.S. Senate on Feb. 17 confirmed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Newly confirmed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week revealed his vision for the regulatory agency. “Regulators exist to give certainty to those that they regulate,” Pruitt told EPA staff on his first day in office. “Those that we regulate ought to know what’s expected of them so they can plan and allocate resources to comply.” Pruitt has been criticized by environmental advocates for being too friendly with the fossil fuel industry in his previous position as Oklahoma attorney general. He is expected to shift the federal agency’s regulatory authority toward state regulators. The U.S. Senate on Feb. 17 confirmed Pruitt to lead EPA amid objections from environmental groups, current and former agency employees, and Senate Democrats. The former Oklahoma attorney general has opposed EPA limits on carbon dioxide from power plants, and he has objected to rule-making that would overhaul the agency’s chemical plant risk management program. The American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association, welcomed Pruitt’s confirmation. The group says that it is looking forward to working with him on the implementation of the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was enacted last year.

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