EPA chemical safety nominee drops out amid strong opposition | The News Tribune
President Donald Trump’s pick to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew his nomination Wednesday after bipartisan opposition made his Senate confirmation unlikely.
Officials at the White House and the Senate told The Associated Press that Michael Dourson had sent a letter asking his name to be removed from consideration to serve as head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
North Carolina’s two Republican senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, said last month they would vote against Dourson’s nomination after The Associated Press and other media outlets detailed his past work as a toxicologist hired to defend major chemical companies.
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In his letter asking the president to withdraw his name from consideration, which was obtained by the AP, Dourson said his stepping aside "avoids unnecessarily politicizing the important environmental protection goals of Administrator Pruitt."
Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said his staunch objections to Dourson’s nomination were never a matter of partisanship.
"I sincerely believe he is the wrong person to hold this important position, and it’s become clear that, even with a Republican majority in the Senate, he could not be confirmed," Carper said.
Dourson has already been serving at the agency as a senior adviser to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.
The AP reported in September that Dourson has for years accepted payments for criticizing studies that raised concerns about the safety of his clients’ products, according to a review of financial records and his published work.