Climate change skeptic Pruitt takes EPA reins as Trump targets regulations

Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito after the U.S. Senate confirms him over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency.

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 17, 2017) (RESTRICTED POOL) – Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt was sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito on Friday (February 17) after the U.S. Senate confirmed him over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency.

The Senate confirmed Pruitt as the Trump administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners.

The installation of Pruitt, who sued the agency he intends to lead more than a dozen times as Oklahoma attorney general, reinforces expectations on both sides of the political divide that America will cede its position as a leader in the global fight on climate change.

Senators voted 52-46 to approve Pruitt, who was to be sworn in later on Friday afternoon at the White House.

Trump is likely to issue executive orders as soon as next week to reshape the EPA, sources said.