The United States can protect the environment without destroying the economy, the EPA’s new chief said in his first address to agency employees.
Former Oklahoma attorney general and current EPA leader Scott Pruitt told the agency’s 15,000 employees that the agency mission will be “both pro-energy and jobs, and pro-environment” under his leadership.
“I think our nation has been better than any nation in the world at making sure that we do the job of protecting our natural resources and protecting our environment, while also respecting the economic growth and jobs our nation seeks to have,” he said.
Pruitt has been a staunch critic of Obama-era environmental regulations and is expected to lead a charge to reverse parts of the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Water Rule.
Because of his past criticisms of the agency’s work, EPA employees lobbied the Senate to block Pruitt’s confirmation. On Friday, however, he was confirmed on a 52-46 vote.
During his speech to agency officials, Pruitt hinted that he also intends to make it easier for industry to understand how to comply with EPA rules moving forward.
“Regulations ought to make things regular. Regulators exist to give certainty to those that they regulate. Those that we regulate ought to know what’s expected of them, so they can plan, and allocate resources to comply,” Pruitt said. “That’s really the job of a regulator.”
Join the Discussion
Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don’t stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.