President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA is drawing widespread praise from legislators and Republican environmental groups as someone who will draw back the agency’s excessive regulations.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called Pruitt, 48, the “go-to leader in resisting the Obama EPA’s regulatory overreach.
“By standing up to unwarranted and unlawful policies, he has demonstrated rightful concern for Americans whose livelihoods and communities have suffered under intrusive, job-killing regulations.”
Oklahoma Sen. Senator Jim Inhofe cited Scott’s opposition to such Obama administration programs as the Waters of the U.S. and the Clean Power Plan.
“He has proven that being a good steward of the environment does not mean burdening taxpayers and businesses with red tape,” Inhofe said. “Pruitt has demonstrated that he is an expert on environmental laws and a champion of states’ roles in implementing those laws.”
A longtime EPA critic and backer of the fossil fuels industry, Pruitt has been attorney general in the Sooner State since 2011 and served in the state Senate for eight years.
Trump said Wednesday that he would nominate Pruitt to the post after his inauguration next month. He must be confirmed by the Senate.
Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford said that he hoped to work with Pruitt to “restore a balanced approach to regulations and governance that fosters economic growth, advances energy independence and ensures stewardship for the environment.
“Scott Pruitt knows the difference between a state responsibility and a federal responsibility,” he added. “The American people deserve an EPA that rejects extreme activism and instead returns to its proper interpretation of environmental law.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who joined with Pruitt in several lawsuits against the federal agency, said that his planned nomination proved that Trump was “serious about creating jobs and rolling back the burdensome regulations implemented by the Obama administration.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said that Trump was “listening to the American people, who want fewer overbearing government regulation from Washington and more jobs on Main Street USA.
“Scott Pruitt will fight for the working people and job-creators, while ensuring that the air and water are clean and safe,” he said.
Nan Hayworth, the former New York congresswoman who now sits on the board of the GOP environmental group ConservAmerica, likened Pruitt to former President Teddy Roosevelt.
“Scott Pruitt is very much in the mold of our nation’s first environmentalist president, Theodore Roosevelt, an outdoorsman who understands the critical importance of stewardship.”
Noting that the EPA was established by a Republican, President Richard Nixon in 1970, Hayworth called Pruitt “a strong partner for President Trump in effectively balancing protection of America’s land, water, air, and wildlife with economic prosperity.”