"The U.S. Senate is expected to approve President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and green groups worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners.
Trump's nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is likely to pass the vote scheduled for midday with the support of nearly all the Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate. The vote could take place earlier in the day.
Pruitt's nomination has been controversial in progressive circles: he sued the agency he intends to lead more than a dozen times while top prosecutor of his oil and gas producing state, and has expressed doubts about the science behind climate change. But many Republican lawmakers view him as a welcome change at the top of the EPA, an agency they say declared war on the coal industry during Barack Obama's presidency with its rules against carbon emissions.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin said on Thursday he was concerned Pruitt's opposition to Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions from coal and natural gas burning plants would hurt the domestic environment and international efforts to curb climate change."