Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt spoke over the week-end at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) about upcoming changes to revamp the agency that aims to protect human health and the environment by enforcing regulations.
Asked during an interview how it feels to be at the conservative conference with everyone hoping that the agency he is running is going to go away, Pruitt said “it’s justified.”
Pruitt said that the EPA was used by the Obama administration to impact the U.S. in ways that could have never imagined 8 years ago.
“Jobs have been impacted, the authority that the Washington D.C. has, the assumption of power, and the accumulation of power, they’ve taken advantage of that and so I think its justified. I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS, and I hope to be able to change that” Pruitt said.
Pruitt has made a career of supporting the fossil fuel industry, especially the oil and gas industries, and previously worked as Attorney General of Oklahoma where he dissolved the Environmental Protection Unit in the Attorney General’s Office.
Pruitt has sued the EPA 14 times to stop clean air and water protections. Eight of his lawsuits are still pending before the EPA.
Some of Pruitt’s lawsuits while serving as Attorney General include the anti-climate change Clean Power Plan, mercury pollution limits, ozone pollution limits, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and the Clean Water Rule.
During his week-end CPAC convention speech, Pruitt used anti-regulatory language and explained that 2017 is a time that is going to set the trajectory of history into the future.
“We are going restore back to the people. We are going to recognize that regulatory uncertainty and the regulatory state needs to be reigned in” Pruitt said.
The EPA has a $8 billion budget with over 15,000 full-time employees and was founded on December 2, 1970 by Republican President Richard Nixon through executive order to help protect human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws approved by Congress.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that President Trump will instruct federal agencies on Monday to enact a budget for the coming fiscal year that contains sharp increases in spending for the Defense Department while eliminating billions from domestic programs such as the EPA and the State Department.
The domestic cutbacks won’t include Social Security and Medicare which will be left alone.
The New York Times cited four senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the plan.