Sen. Warner to vote against Scott Pruitt as EPA chief

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME announced Wednesday that she's going to vote against President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

She announced her decision on her Twitter account, saying, "After careful consideration, I have chose to oppose the confirmation of Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator".

Collins told Maine Public Radio on Wednesday that while Pruitt, now Oklahoma's attorney general, was "an accomplished attorney", she had concerns about his record of suing the agency he has been tapped to lead.

"I can not think of another nominee I've been asked to consider who has, over the course of a career, demonstrated more disdain for the work of the agency he seeks to lead than Mr. Pruitt", Warner said in a statement.

Collins - who voted against the confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and, according to sources, indicated she was likely to vote against Andrew Puzder for labor secretary before he withdrew Wednesday - is the first Republican to break ranks over Pruitt.

Collins called Pruitt an accomplished attorney, but she also said his record raised several concerns. With about 5,000 members around the country, the group wrote a letter to Collins about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a way to lessen the effects of climate change in Acadia National Park in Maine.

"The Trump administration has promised to cancel funds to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, which really helps developing countries deal with ways they're impacted by climate change", Kubitza said. Clement said there also are threats to the park's infrastructure and to predator-prey relationships that could be affected by warming temperatures. Collins is not among them. She contends Pruitt's denials of the impacts of climate change are deeply troubling.

While it would be illegal for president Donald Trump to unilaterally abolish the EPA-which he has said he'd like to to-it is technically within the power of Congress to do so.

"I reject the false choice of pitting the environment against the economy because for much of the state of Maine, the economy and the environment are inextricably linked", she said.

"But I will vote no on Mr. Pruitt's confirmation", she said.

Collins now appears to be the only Republican planning to vote against Pruitt.

  • Larry Hoffman