Mixed reviews on Trump’s choice for EPA nominee
Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said she is “deeply concerned” about President-elect Donald Trump’s intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“The next EPA administrator should be someone we can trust to protect the Great Lakes and the health of Michigan families,” Stabenow said in a news release.
“In addition, Mr. Pruitt has been a leading proponent of dismantling the landmark Renewable Fuel Standard. We were promised a farmer-friendly EPA by President-elect Trump, yet his pick for the agency wants to upend one of the most successful economic drivers in rural America. This appears to be yet another example of the president-elect saying one thing to the American public, and doing another.”
Stabenow’s statement followed Trump’s formal announcement that he would nominate Pruitt to head the EPA. In his campaign Trump promised to protect the RFS, and the release did not mention Pruitt’s criticism of it.
The news release described Pruitt as “an expert in constitutional law and one of the country’s top attorneys general” and said he “brings a deep understanding of the impact of regulations on both the environment and the economy, making him an excellent choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.”
“For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn,” Trump said in the news release.
“As my EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, the highly respected attorney general from the state of Oklahoma, will reverse this trend and restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe,” Trump said. “My administration strongly believes in environmental protection, and Scott Pruitt will be a powerful advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety and opportunity.”
“I am deeply grateful and honored to serve as President-elect Trump’s EPA administrator,” Pruitt said in the news release.
“The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.”
Pruitt “will be deeply involved in the implementation of President-elect Trump’s energy plan, which will move America toward energy independence, create millions of new jobs and protect clean air and water,” the release said.
The release also emphasized that Pruitt “has been a national leader against the EPA’s job-killing war on coal. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt established the state’s first ‘federalism unit’ to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government.”
Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, an organization of ethanol plant builders and operators, said in a release, “We congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his nomination and look forward to working with him to carry out President-elect Trump’s strong commitments to protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard and ending restrictions to getting more ethanol into our fuel supply.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation praised the nomination, emphasizing Pruitt’s opposition to regulation and did not mention his stand on the RFS.
“President-elect Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is welcome news to America’s farmers and ranchers — in fact, to all who are threatened by EPA’s regulatory overreach — and should help provide a new degree of fairness for U.S. agriculture,” AFB President Zippy Duvall said in a news release.
“We anticipate that as EPA administrator, Pruitt will listen to our concerns and those of others who work with the nation’s natural resources on a daily basis. Agriculture is a profession based on a solid ethic of conservation.”
Trump announced the Pruitt nomination after announcing that he intends to nominate Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad as ambassador to China. Branstad is a prominent ethanol supporter and China is a major importer of ethanol. ❖