20:08 GMT05 August 2020
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    Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was officially sworn-in by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Pruitt took the oath of the office on Friday evening, after the US Senate confirmed his nomination in a 52-46 vote.

    Despite long debates and opposition by Democrats to Pruit’s nomination, two Democratic senators — Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp — voted to confirm Pruitt as head of the EPA.

    Pruitt, an avowed climate-change skeptic has been a vocal critic of the EPA policies and has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the agency for imposing rules on his oil-producing state. He promised to run the agency "in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses."

    Of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominations, Pruitt’s is among the most controversial. Environmental groups sharply criticized Pruitt, saying his anti-EPA litigation and rejection of the scientific consensus about climate change make him unfit to serve as the agency’s administrator.



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