EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recently took part in the Conservative Political Action Conference this past week that included various Republicans, and it was here that he reported some major cuts would be made in his department concerning environmental regulations. Of course, the Barack Obama-era regulations on the environment are not quite agreed on by Republicans, especially the Trump administration. However, a bulk of the American people disagrees with Trump on his stance regarding the environment.
“I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those” said Pruitt during his CPAC speech this past week. It is a big turn for the EPA as Barack Obama’s policies continue to be taken down and replaced by the Trump administration.
No one is truly surprised a change came, as new administrations tend to fix areas they see issues with. He would continue to talk about climate change under former President Obama and claim that his policies in the EPA prevented job growth and even cost jobs. He then claimed that many Americans wanted to see the EPA eliminated completely due to it, to that he said the following.
“I think its justified.I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. I hope to be able to change that.”
During his run as the Oklahoma Attorney General, he sued the EPA over a dozen times and repeatedly cast doubt on climate change, which actually made sense due to his ties to Exxonmobil. Pruitt’s stance on the environment truly mirrors that of President Trump. Pruitt being tapped to really lead the EPA is kind of ironic due to his affiliation with them over the years.
On top of this, he is not quite squeaky clean when it comes to his former job, which also connects him to the job as the leader of the EPA. Just this past month alone, Scott Pruitt was ordered by the Oklahoma District Court to release thousands of emails of communication with fossil fuel industries in order to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests filed over a two-year period by the Center for Media and Democracy. The emails showed his connection to oil and natural gas companies.
His connection to oil and natural gas companies notwithstanding, Pruitt also claimed during the CPAC speech that many Americans want the EPA to be shut down or taken back a bit, which goes with his planning. However, various reports, one out of Reuters, claims the complete opposite.
“More than 60 percent of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s powers preserved or strengthened under incoming President Donald Trump.”
In the poll done by the website in January, 39 percent of Americans would actually like to see the EPA “strengthen or expand,” and 22 percent want it to “remain the same,” according to their poll. Meanwhile, only 19 percent would like to see the EPA “weakened or eliminated.” The remaining percent answered, “don’t know.” Out of all the open Republicans that took part in the poll, nearly half wish for the EPA to “remain the same or strengthened or expanded” at 47 percent believing this.
Only 35 percent of the red party want it to be removed or weakened. This means EPA head Scott Pruitt was not actually telling the complete truth regarding Americans when more like it the way it is or want it to be stronger, even when it comes to the Republicans. Scott Pruitt would go on to claim that long-term structural changes are in store for his run in the EPA.
“Long-term, asking the question on how that agency partners with the states and how that affects the budget and how it effects the structure is something to work on very diligently.”
To try and connect to those who do believe in climate change, Scott Pruitt echoed President Donald Trump when saying that cutting regulation could be done in a way that does not harm air or water quality. The EPA has normally been a stoppage point for things that, well, go against the environment that needs protected. Some of the things done in the Trump administration such as the Keystone Pipeline would have been held off by the Obama administration and their EPA. It’ll be interesting to see what else is permitted with the EPA backing off of companies a bit more, which would allow them to save money and have better access to what that need. However, it could come at the expense of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.
[Featured Image Susan Walsh/AP Images]