Rule rollbacks already making a difference — Pruitt

Source: Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said there is growing optimism within the businesses community as the Trump administration works to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations.

“The actions that are being taken as part of President Trump’s leadership really is sending a message across the country that executive branch agencies are going to actually enforce the law and not make the law,” Pruitt said in a radio interview.

Pruitt said under President Obama, agencies adopted rules and regulations that constituted federal overreach. Dialing back those regulations will allow businesses to know what is expected of them and invest accordingly, he said.

Pruitt cited, among others, the Clean Water Rule, which he said went after “puddles and dried creek beds.” Environmentalists and Obama officials have disputed such characterizations.

“The past administration declared war on coal, fossil fuels. Despite the fact that those energy sources are tremendously important to us as a country to generate electricity, to keep costs low, to provide stability to our citizens,” said Pruitt on New York City-area station WNYM-AM.

“In the past administration, they created tremendous uncertainty by adopting rules and regulations that were an overreach,” he said. “Declaring war on any sector of our economy just doesn’t make sense at all. But that’s exactly what happened with the past administration.”

Pruitt also said Trump made the right decision by withdrawing from the international Paris climate agreement because it was not an “American first” deal.

“The Paris accord was not good for this country. It was not an ‘America First’ approach,” Pruitt said in an interview last weekend with John Catsimatidis on AM 970’s “The Answer.”

The administrator said the United States has made great strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while countries like China and India have lagged behind.

He said, “Why would we as a country go to that type of meeting with the kind of progress we’ve made and be apologetic?” Pruitt critics have accused him of overplaying U.S. progress compared with other nations.

He said, “That is a bad business deal for this country, and the president showed tremendous fortitude and courage and said ‘no’ to that type of deal for this country.”