President Donald Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, believes the EPA has room to be resized in terms of budget, staffing and authorities.
The former attorney general for Oklahoma says in this exclusive interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, “When you’re spending a million dollars for gym memberships, you have room to contract.”
Pruitt tells TheDCNF the EPA should “not be an agency trying to set energy policy, use its authority to pick winners and losers, acting outside the rule of law, acting outside of process, re-imagining their authority under their statutes, or creating uncertainty in the marketplace.”
Under his new leadership, Pruitt expects to help Trump deliver better environmental outcomes, certainty in the marketplace, and economic growth in the nation. The notion that you can’t be pro-environment and pro-growth is one Pruitt rejects out of hand.
TheDCNF interviewed Pruitt during the week his EPA “killed” a power-grabbing Obama 2015 water rule that caused paralysis and confusion for landowners. A revised rule, expected later this year, he promised, will have objective clarity and be more tethered to the statute.
Pruitt applauds Trump’s leadership in pulling America out of the Paris climate accord. The agreement former President Barack Obama’s team got the U.S. into was “a surrender of sovereignty,” and a “bad business deal.”
Pruitt says it put America at an economic disadvantage, as it exposed the nation to legal liability when other industrial nations were not held to similar account. In reality, America makes environmental progress through innovation, technology, stewardship and development, and that will continue.
Pulling the curtain back on the myth of Obama’s environmental achievements, Pruitt says, the former president’s environmental team “talked a lot but did very little.”
When Obama left office, Pruitt says, 40 percent of the nation did not meet air quality standards. Two environmental debacles happened on his watch — the Flint, Mich., water crisis and the Gold King Mine Colorado error. They also failed to regulate CO2 twice.
Lastly, he mentions Obama had more Superfund sites when he left office than when he came into office.
As for his critics, Pruitt dismisses them as mere “noise” from people who want him to be in the re-imagination business, like Disney, to create new authority for his agency. Scott Pruitt is a talented, impressive man committed to an improved EPA.
For more on Administrator Pruitt and his efforts, see the EPA website or follow him on Twitter at @EPAScottPruitt.
Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this piece.
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