Pruitt, who on his LinkedIn page described himself as a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda", has been an antagonist of the EPA, suing the agency 13 times throughout is time as Oklahoma's attorney general, according to Mother Jones.
Earlier this week, the EPW's Democratic senators noted that questions put to Pruitt during his confirmation hearing about connections to the fossil fuel industry had been diverted.
Pruitt has been criticized for acting on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, which has helped finance his political career. As EPA chief, he would be responsible for enforcing environmental laws that govern how much and what kind of pollution those companies are allowed to emit.
CMD is accusing Pruitt and the Oklahoma attorney general's office of ignoring multiple open records requests.
Yesterday, a judge ruled that Pruitt must turn over thousands of emails. Since then, the office has released 411 of the 3,000 emails. But his office has previously said those requests are handled in chronological order.
In December, the EPA announced it would pay $4.5 million to state, local and tribal governments for their emergency response to a mine spill that the EPA triggered, but it turned down $20.4 million in other requests for past and future expenses. Politico reported that eleven other senators are also attending the conference, but their Friday flight was delayed to ensure that they could cast their vote on Pruitt before leaving. That decision came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a plea for the senators to stay.
"We need an EPA Administrator who will listen to the environmentalists, but also listen to the job creators", said Wicker.
John Mc Cain
They called their boycott an "extraordinary step". The Republicans didn't even need the vote of Sen.
"Scott Pruitt has extensive knowledge of the laws that guide the EPA, and he is committed to refocusing the agency on actually cleaning up the environment instead of constantly churning out rules with questionable legal authority", Murkowski said.
"Coming from the energy-producing state of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt understands the critical importance of implementing policies that both support our economy and protect the environment", said Barry Russell, CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME was the lone Republican to vote against Pruitt.
Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke Friday to Pruitt's oil ties: He is a longtime litigant against the federal environmental agency that he has been nominated to head.
Senate Democrats on Friday attempted to extend the debate over Pruitt's confirmation until late February when emails between him and energy companies will likely be revealed by a judge, but the effort failed. Pruitt's hearing is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Thursday.