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Republican Senator announces opposition to Scott Pruitt for EPA

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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower on December 7, 2016 in New York City. Potential members of President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet have been meeting with him and his transition team of the last few weeks. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In yet another blow to the Trump administration, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has announced that she will be voting against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

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

She linked to a statement explaining why she would oppose Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt's nomination.

I have met at length with Mr. Pruitt, who is an accomplished attorney with considerable knowledge about environmental laws. We discussed many important environmental issues about which I care deeply—from EPA’s enforcement of landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, to climate change and the Clean Power Plan, to protections from harmful pollutants such as lead and mercury. I also have reviewed testimony from his confirmation hearing.

Collins added a list of environmental issues affecting Maine that she disagreed with Pruitt over.

Specifically, I have significant concerns that Mr. Pruitt has actively opposed and sued EPA on numerous issues that are of great importance to the state of Maine, including mercury controls for coal-fired power plants and efforts to reduce cross-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. His actions leave me with considerable doubts about whether his vision for the EPA is consistent with the Agency's critical mission to protect human health and the environment.

Pruitt is lauded by conservatives but criticized by the left for his multitude of lawsuits against the EPA, which they say makes him hostile to the mission of the agency and unfit for the position. One Australian scientist even compared the pick to Stalin's censorship of science.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had announced that he would undermine and slow down the confirmation for many of Trump's nominees for his cabinet, including Pruitt.

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