Jones said he was "especially disappointed" that Colorado's Republican senator, Cory Gardner, voted to confirm Pruitt, who regularly sued the EPA to block regulations when he was attorney general.
The vote Friday came after Democrats held an all-night session on the Senate floor with a series of speeches opposing Pruitt's confirmation. Merkley requested on the Senate floor Friday that the vote be delayed until all of Pruitt's emails are released, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was present in the almost empty Senate chamber, and the Kentucky Republican objected to the request.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) joined most Republicans in supporting Pruitt, while Sen.
Missouri U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D) says "hiring Scott Pruitt to run the EPA is like hiring an arsonist to put out a fire". "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". Due to his history with the EPA, and Trump's adamancy to undo Obama's policies with climate change, it doesn't seem as if Pruitt's acknowledgment will do any good for the future of the United States and our environmental impact. The sole Republican holdout was Susan Collins of ME, who voted against Pruitt.
Mr. Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees, who predict he will roll back the agency's environmental enforcement efforts.
He set up a "federalism unit" at the office of the Oklahoma attorney general to "combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government".
But it's widely expected that by Tuesday, Pruitt will already have been confirmed.
To reverse or revamp existing rules around vehicle fuel standards, mercury pollution or a range of other environmental issues, Mr Pruitt would have to repeat the lengthy bureaucratic process that generated them. He has sued it more than a dozen times when he was the attorney-general of Oklahoma.
Democrats had sought to delay the confirmation vote for Pruitt until after emails related to his dealings with oil and gas executives were released.
NBC News reports Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider a delay saying, "If it wasn't one thing it would be another".