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The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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Why CA Has a Lot at Stake in EPA Selection

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt took his turn answering tough questions from a Senate committee as President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the E.P.A. (Gage Skidmore)
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt took his turn answering tough questions from a Senate committee as President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the E.P.A. (Gage Skidmore)
January 19, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, faces strong opposition by environmental and progressive groups - including the League of Conservation Voters.

The League's vice president of government affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld, said the question of who will run the EPA has a big impact on California policies and politics. Sittenfield said that Pruitt has already made headlines for suing the EPA many times, and has been accused of accepting money from energy companies in his role as a state attorney general.

"It is hard to imagine that Donald Trump could have nominated a worse person to be the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency,” Sittenfield said. "The mission is to protect human health and the environment - our air, our water and our land. Everything about him - his beliefs, his record, his actions - is completely antithetical to the vitally-important mission of the EPA."

Facing questions on his position on climate change during Wednesday's confirmation hearing, Pruitt acknowledged that the climate is changing, but said the appropriate response is up for debate.

Sittenfeld said California has been a national leader on conservation and energy-efficiency issues, but the state could be in constant conflict with Pruitt as head of the EPA.

"This is literally someone who we have seen not only sue the EPA seemingly in conjunction with particular companies - whether its ExxonMobil, or Devon Energy, or Murray Energy - he's also sued the EPA over preventing wildlife from being added to the Endangered Species List,” Sittenfield argued.

Oklahoma has made news in recent years with its unprecedented increase in man-made earthquakes caused by the oil-drilling method known as fracking. Pruitt's critics have said he could have been a leader in protecting residents if he had addressed the problem.

Logan Pollard, Public News Service - CA