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Scott Pruitt Confirmed as EPA Administrator

Former Oklahoma Attorney General won confirmation 52-46 to become the next EPA Administrator filling out one of President Trump’s more controversial appointments.
As the Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt built a career out of suing EPA over major environmental rules including leading the efforts challenging President Obama’s climate and clean power initiatives. Mr. Pruitt has called for dissolution of much of the agency’s authority citing the agency’s overreach and lack of transparency on many rules. He and the Trump Administration have also proposed drastically reducing the size and breadth of EPA by slashing EPA’s budget, removing two EPA regional offices, eliminating more than 30 programs, decreasing state grants and programs, and drastically cutting staff by 20 percent from 15,000 to 12,000. The proposed budget would drop from $8.2B to $6.1B although Congressional appropriators might not go along with such large reductions. Other programs such as science, research & development, and environmental justice may be reduced or eliminated altogether. As new administrations come and go, the rank and file in these agencies learn to cope with these ‘temporary’ changes although agencies such as EPA have not experienced such year-after-year budget reductions. Pruitt even raised concerns with the White House about the large size of the cuts. EPA’s budget has already been drastically cut (more than 17 percent) over the past few years putting a strain on EPA to accomplish its missions, including implementing the new Toxic Substances Control Act’s rules which is a priority for Republicans and Democrats alike. EPA has resorted to using enforcement dollars to pursue some priority programs in the past which raised many concerns. As budget details begin to flow out of the White House and Congress, ISRI will report on their impacts to the scrap recycling industry. 

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