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By Chris White
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Saturday that people are absolutely justified in wanting President Donald Trump to abolish the agency.
Scott Pruitt, who was narrowly confirmed as Trump’s EPA chief last week, told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference that people should be angry the EPA has abused “its authority” as the country’s primary environmental regulator.
He added the agency is committed to working with not against states to protect the U.S.’s waterways and environment. Pruitt also said he intends on working within the “rule of law,” not making up laws on a whim.
The former Oklahoma attorney general’s comments come a few days after a liberal watchdog group released nearly 8,000 emails that show Pruitt kept in communication with various energy groups in his state.
The Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog group with financial ties with billionaire financier George Soros, sued to have the emails released after it claimed the Oklahoma Republican stonewalled information requests for two years.
The emails, which date back to 2013, show that various groups, including the Koch brothers and Devon Energy, reached out to thank Pruitt’s office for engaging in legal fisticuffs with former President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.
Pruitt has become a punching bag for environmentalists and Democrats, many of whom are convinced the Oklahoma Republican will do everything he can to dismantle the EPA. They worked hard trying to derail Pruitt’s confirmation hearing.
They failed. Only two Democrats – Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia – bucked their party and voted in favor of Pruitt to head the agency. Their support came even after their Democratic colleagues continued to call the Oklahoma AG a “climate denier” who will do the bidding of “Big Oil.
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