Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administer Scott Pruitt is undertaking a mission that has the Obama-era bureaucrats in full body willies.
Pruitt is set to return power to individual states and away from what he terms “coastal elites” who have rendered middle America a dead zone for decision-making on any issue environmentally oriented including those in their backyards. And his plan starts in his office with his people. It’s a bold move.
The revamping of the internal workings of the EPA follows on the heels of President Trump reigniting the Keystone Pipeline and dismantling the Clean Power Act and is being heralded by the Republicans on the Hill and employees alike. In a recent visit to his home state, the perpetually crusty Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hailed Pruitt’s intense energy in righting the restrictive wrongs of the previous administration, quipping (yes, he quipped), “Great to have an EPA Administer not afraid to come to Kentucky.”
Pruitt was born in Kentucky and was once a prospect for the Cincinnati Reds. Yes, this man with down-home ways now finds himself at the top of an agency that is the darling of the upper crust cocktail circuit. His inside agenda will no doubt prompt whispers and outright protests from the patent leather people. But Pruitt seemingly cares not one whit.
Practice the Fundamentals
Pruitt’s approach is basic—return to the principles on which it was founded in 1970. In his State of the Union address, then-President Nixon set in motion the 47-year old agency by claiming, “Clean air, clean water, open spaces – these should once again be the birthright of every American. If we act now, they can be.”
Here is what to expect moving forward; no more sue and settle, clean up the advisory boards in order to have representation of both industry advocates and academics from Flyover and Mountain states to allow for influence when counseling agency leaders on new rules, and implement a Red Team and Blue Team to challenge climate change from those who believe people have caused global warming and those who remain steadfast in the natural progression of the earth’s evolution.
It’s a long list with twists and treacherous turns and a few speed bumps to avoid, but the driver seems fearless.
Recently, Pruitt joined The Federalist Society and outlined his back to basics plan in front of a crowd filled with interested parties, and a few mouthy protestors. He took it all in stride and you can watch his remarks here.
Of course, Pruitt has detractors; former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy of the Obama era has voiced her opinion on many issues. It seems her pet peeve is Pruitt’s quest to complete a job started in 1983; the Superfund Sites. Remember all that groundwater contamination that was killing wildlife and, oh yeah, people? Yep, Pruitt wants to see that eon-long issue come to a resolution. McCarthy finds it a ridiculous notion:
“It is just ridiculous to think that you can ignore the most significant threats to public health today while chasing Superfund sites that have been around for 20 years,” she said. “You don’t make those choices. You do both.”
Well, Ms. McCarthy, why are more than half of the original 406 sites from 1983 still on the on the EPA’s National Priorities List?
Pruitt is adamant in state’s rights, and for many Americans, it brings hope, opportunity, and power to the local people, long lacking in the last two decades. He is attempting to bring a balance of power and responsibility in equal amounts, not unlike the Electoral College, instead of allowing the most populous of geographic areas, to make the most decisions on how our Republic operates. Pruitt may have the toughest job in Washington—barring the front-line a president’s press secretary stands on – but his is the tightest rope to walk.