Sen. Collins to oppose Scott Pruitt for EPA chief

Oklahoma judge holds hearing on whether EPA nominee violated transparency law

The excoriation came hours after a state judge ordered Pruitt's office to release more than 2,500 documents and emails about his communications with energy companies during his tenure.

"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".

Collins did say, however, she would vote to invoke cloture on Pruitt's nomination, which would help clear him from the threat of a filibuster.

They want the vote delayed until after the conclusion of an emergency hearing in Oklahoma to be held at 4 p.m. ET that will consider whether emails between Pruitt's office and officials at oil and gas companies should be released.

Democrats contend Pruitt's lawsuits brought against the EPA, and political donations from fossil fuel industries, show that his goals are contrary to the agency and his tenure would be mired with conflicts of interest.

During the time of the hearing on Thursday, only 411 emails out of more than 3,000 sought by the CMD were provided by the attorney general's office.

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Trump likely will issue executive orders to reshape the EPA if his pick is approved, sources said. The 411 emails were only released in mid-February despite the group filing its request nearly two years ago. Republicans, on whom polluters spend lavishly, pushed his nomination out of committee and onto the Senate Floor where it is to be voted on possibly as soon as Friday afternoon.

"The vote to confirm Pruitt must now be delayed until every senator can see just who Pruitt is and what he will do if permitted to run the EPA", Pierce said.

Pushing the vote on Scott Pruitt back by a few days in order to review these documents should be an easy call for the Senate.

"We go home, we go to bed, say, 'That's it, we fought the good fight, it's 10 o'clock we're going to call it a day, ' there's zero chance we prevail", Carper said.

Collins is one of the most centrist Republicans in the Senate, having broken with her party numerous times to support environmental regulations and legislation.

Last year Pruitt said scientists continue to disagree whether climate change is real, but last month broke with Trump, who said it's a hoax invented by the Obama administration.

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