Newly confirmed EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on Saturday vowed quick and “aggressive” gutting of Obama-era regulations addressing climate change and the nation’s waterways.
“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,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) taking place near Washington, D.C..
Pruitt—who’s been described as “a lackey for the big energy companies” and whose “confirmation shows once again that Republicans will deny climate change and protect the interests of Big Oil at all costs”—sued the agency he now leads more than a dozen times during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general. And his “close and friendly relationship” with fossil fuel companies was confirmed Tuesday, the day he began his term as EPA head, by the release of thousands of emails.
Reuters reports that during in his comments at CPAC,
Pruitt also accused he agency of overreach during the previous administration and said it was “so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2,” adding that Americans would be “justified” in wanting to completely get rid of the EPA. “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,” he said. (A 2013 Pew Research survey on public opinions of federal agencies, however, doesn’t back up his claim.)
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