January 23, 2017

Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of EPA


  •  Attorney General Pruitt has committed to restoring the rule of law at the Environmental Protection Agency, fulfilling the agency’s core mission, and working cooperatively with state and local regulators, Congress, and the American public.
  • Pruitt will advance regulations that produce meaningful environmental benefits, ensure public safety, and safeguard individual rights, without stifling our economy.
  • Senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed their support for and confidence in Attorney General Pruitt.

Biography

Scott Pruitt is the attorney general of Oklahoma, a position he has held since 2011. He has been a national leader in efforts to protect states and people from federal overreach, and he served two terms as president of the Republican Attorneys General Association. Previously, he was co-owner and manager of the Oklahoma City Redhawks, a Triple-A baseball team; an Oklahoma state senator who held leadership positions; and an attorney in private practice who specialized in constitutional law. 

Senate Action

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing to consider Attorney General Pruitt’s nomination on January 18. The hearing included six hours of questioning – a record for a nominee to be EPA administrator. 

Considerations

EPA leadership has neglected its core functions over the last eight years, as shown by the Flint water crisis and the Gold King Mine disaster. Much of this failure could have been avoided if EPA operated consistent with its mission and statutory principle of cooperative federalism. Attorney General Pruitt has a deep understanding of and commitment to EPA’s mission and legal authority. He established the first “federalism unit” within a state attorney general’s office; worked with officials across the aisle and across state lines to achieve real environmental gains; and led cases with other state attorneys general to ensure EPA implements environmental statutes as written by Congress.

The Obama EPA has been a heavy-handed regulator and broadly out-of-touch with the American people, especially rural communities. Just two weeks ago, outgoing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said one of her biggest regrets was failing to connect with rural America. Attorney General Pruitt assured Senators at the hearing that he would not make that mistake, and he has a strong record of fighting for rural communities. He was part of a coalition of 31 states that obtained a judicial stay of the EPA’s “waters of the United States” rule to prevent irreparable harm to farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and states. Attorney General Pruitt pledged in his opening statement at the committee hearing to listen before acting; to usher in a new era of cooperation, transparency, and fairness at the EPA; and to ensure “that our future generations inherit a better and healthier environment.”

Senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed their support for and confidence in Attorney General Pruitt. Nominees to serve as EPA administrator for the incoming Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations all received a committee hearing before the inauguration and were confirmed by the Senate before the end of January.

Issue Tags: Energy, Senate