Another day, another “controversial” Trump nominee confirmed.
This time it’s Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to lead the EPA:
The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday in a mostly party line vote.
The confirmation vote came after contentious hearings during which Democratic lawmakers questioned Pruitt over his ties to fossil fuel companies, his multiple legal challenges to EPA regulations and his public statements questioning the science behind climate change.
Senate Democrats boycotted a committee vote to move forward Pruitt’s nomination earlier this month and stretched debate before the full Senate into the early hours of Friday. On Thursday evening, some Democrats again called for Pruitt’s confirmation vote to be delayed after an Oklahoma judge ordered his office to turn over thousands of communications with fossil fuel companies to a watchdog group.
Make no mistake: This is a great pick, and the hysterical liberal campaign to discredit Pruitt was absolutely insane.
First, the notion that he shouldn’t be secretary because he sued the EPA. So what? Oftentimes Environmental Protection Agency policies have serious consequences for Americans. Pruitt’s efforts as Oklahoma Attorney General were aimed at restoring the state’s role in setting its own environmental policy. Pruitt, and others recognize that regulations that apply to all states do not apply equally. States like West Virginia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma might be disproportionately harmed by sweeping environmental regulations favored by folks in California and New York. Indeed, even the most committed environmentalists acknowledge that centralized, Washington based regulation often fails to take into account the individual environmental challenges faced by the states.
Second, the notion that he’s a “climate change” denier is absurd. More broadly, the term “climate change denier” needs to go. Acknowledging that global temperatures have shifted in one direction or another is something very few people can deny. What’s worth debating is what impact human activity has had on this, and what we might do to adapt or remedy it. But liberals aren’t interested in debate, they’re interested in shutting down the conversation and authorizing billions of dollars in programs for alternative energy and thousands of pages of business stifling regulations.
So what does Pruitt actually believe? As Daniel Payne at the Federalist notes, his beliefs are pretty tame:
Well, back in May, Pruitt co-wrote a column at National Review in which he noted, correctly, that “[the climate change debate] is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.” That’s it. That’s literally the only evidence they provide that Pruitt is a “climate change denialist.”
Pruitt’s failure to make common cause with global warming people who were telling us that a new ice age was upon us thirty years ago suggests he’s a critical thinker. A measured approach to problems isn’t dangerous, it’s rational. Rational is good. Right?
Well, not according to the mainstream media. Here’s how they’re framing it:
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) February 17, 2017
That’s not all. EPA employees, in a show of the rank politicization that infects the agency, have been calling senators and urging them to block Pruitt’s nomination.
We can see why. For years, the out of control agency’s priorities have been at odds with those of normal Americans. As every dire prediction about global warming has turned out to be totally false,
It’s safe to say that Pruitt will be quick to drain the swamp over there.