Pruitt argues the United States can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment, and that they don’t need to choose between the two.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said that President Trump’s EPA will have a more cooperative relationship with states than the previous administration during a radio interview with Rob Port on Wednesday.
Pruitt said during the interview that the Obama administration used the authority of Washington to walk over the states, and looked at states as mere vessels of federal will.
“That’s not the proper approach either in achieving good outcomes, and it’s definitely not the right approach as it relates to the statute in the Constitution,” Pruitt told Port.
Pruitt went on to say that the EPA has restored a focus on “cooperative federalism” and working with the states.
“The way that this has worked historically is the states and the EPA work together, they partner together, to ensure good outcomes,” Pruitt continued.
Pruitt said that under the Obama administration there were 56 federal plans issued under the Clean Air Act, compared to only five under the George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush administrations.
Critics of Pruitt claim that as attorney general of Oklahoma all Pruitt did was sue the EPA. Pruitt addressed these concerns by telling Port that the Obama EPA deserved to be sued.
“They deserved it because they exceeded their statutory authority, they exceeded their constitutional authority, and when they got outside of their lane, they got sued and they got stopped,” Pruitt told Port. “So they didn’t even achieve good environmental outcomes. All they did was incur litigation costs in the process.”
“It’s a much better process to work with the states, to partner with the states,” Pruitt went on to tell Port.
Pruitt continued by telling Port that the environmental regulations the Obama administration enacted were simply about power, and not about protecting the environment.
“Using regulator power to pick winners and losers, that is what the past administration did,” Pruitt told Port.
Pruitt concluded by telling Port, “know that we can be pro-growth, pro-jobs, and pro-environment. We don’t have to choose between the two.”
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