Sen. Collins of Maine to oppose Pruitt nomination to EPA

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Wednesday that she's going to vote against President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Collins told Maine Public that she has "significant concerns" over Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's active opposition to EPA policy and his lawsuits against the agency on policies important to Maine, like mercury controls for coal-fired plants and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"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."

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine already said he'll oppose Pruitt's nomination. "We need serious action on climate change, and we need a champion of the environment leading the EPA. That means a 'no' vote for Scott Pruitt," King said previously.

Collins said she made her decision after meeting with Pruitt and reviewing testimony from his confirmation hearing. She said she might support Pruitt if he'd been nominated to another post.

This isn't the first time Collins has opposed a Trump nominee. She also voted against Education Secretary Betsy Devos, creating a 50-50 tie that was broken by Vice President Mike Pence.

The Sierra Club and Natural Resources Council of Maine praised Collin's opposition to Pruitt.

"I reject the false choice of pitting the environment against the economy because for much of the state of Maine, the economy and the environment are inextricably linked," Collins said.

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