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By Michael Bastasch
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he sued the agency he heads so many times while Oklahoma attorney general because “they exceeded their statutory authority.”
“They deserved it and they deserved it because they exceeded their statutory authority, they exceeded their constitutional authority,” Pruitt told WDAY’s Rob Port Wednesday.
Pruitt was hammed by Democrats and environmental activists during the confirmation process for suing the EPA at least a dozen times while representing Oklahoma. Pruitt’s recused himself from litigation he brought against the Obama administration.
“When they got outside their lane, they got sued and they got stopped,” Pruitt said during the WDAY interview, not backing down from his record of suing EPA.
Pruitt sued EPA about a dozen times while Oklahoma AG, including filing suits on regulations he’s now reviewing, including the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the “waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS) and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
Trump ordered EPA in March to review regulations that “potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources,” including the CPP. EPA later disclosed in a court filing they were also reviewing MATS.
The president ordered EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the WOTUS rule in a “manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States.”
But Pruitt wasn’t the only attorney general to sue the Obama EPA. Dozens of states sued EPA over the CPP, WOTUS and MATS. Pruitt was part of a 27-state coalition suing the CPP and a 28-state coalition suing over WOTUS.
Twenty states sued EPA to have the MATS rule overturned. Pruitt’s been consistent in saying he filed these suits because he saw these rules as federal overreach.
“They used the power of Washington, D.C. to coerce, to walk all over the states,” Pruitt told WDAY.
Pruitt wants states to play a larger role in environmental regulation. Pruitt recently approved North Dakota’s plan to create and administer its own implement and enforce its own carbon sequestration program.
“North Dakota is going to be the primary regulator of that,” Pruitt said, adding the state had been trying to create its own program for four years.