Let Freedom Ring Must Reads

The New EPA And Why The Radical Left Is Losing It
By Steve Forbes

It should come as no surprise how the man who is boldly redirecting the EPA — a once rogue agency that operated far beyond its constitutional authority — is now the subject of routine attacks from liberal news outlets and activists who want him fired. Scott Pruitt has taken his job as EPA Administrator seriously and has done more to reinstate the EPA’s true, core mission than any of his modern-day predecessors.

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Pruitt’s sharp focus is correct — to restore contaminated lands, safeguard our nation’s air and water, and do so by respecting real science rather than the ideologically driven fake science of his predecessors. He is demonstrating that we can both have a cleaner environment and greater economic growth and job creation. Contrary to the extreme environmentalist, prosperity and a safer environment can go hand-in-hand.

As Scott Pruitt observes,  our nation can be, “pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment.”

He is absolutely correct.

In just over a year as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has worked with the president to roll back dozens of needless regulations that will save America’s manufacturing and energy sectors billions annually.

Most recently the Pruitt EPA announced how his agency will take much more realistic view of how the automobile industry can work with government regulators to reduce vehicle emissions. Liberals and green activists immediately cried foul — making chicken little claims of how the sky will immediately fall.

The truth is for many years EPA has issued regulations and mandates by bureaucrats who are completely ignorant of how real businesses and industry sectors operate or the compliance costs they already must endure. What’s even more appalling is how these bureaucrats blatantly ignored or distorted inconvenient facts in conjuring up their suffocating, anti- growth decrees.

Shockingly, most government bureaucrats and liberal agency heads haven’t even tried to seek input from the very people operating in the industry sectors they regulate. Scott Pruitt is eliminating the “silo” mentality at EPA and will seek an honest discussion with the people who operate our factories, power plants and heavy industry to find realistic, workable ways to protect our environment while allowing American industry to grow.

Another prime example of the need for decisive regulatory reform was the Obama-era EPA’s carbon reduction plan, which was supposed to slow global warming but would have produced results at best infinitesimally small that they could not have been measured. Trump and Pruitt’s actions to halt the Obama carbon plan saves the U.S. economy an estimated $33 billion in un-necessary costs.

Pruitt correctly worked to put the brakes on a harmful plan that would have completely undermined American manufacturers and energy producers while giving foreign competitors another big advantage in the global marketplace.

Pruitt has made the EPA a far more effective, efficient agency by eliminating many unnecessary, bureaucratic backlogs. Pruitt’s EPA has cut the amount of time it takes to review state water quality standards in half — from 120 days to 60 days. Pruitt’s EPA has already committed some $25 million in water infrastructure loans and has disbursed nearly $9 billion in state funding to improve water quality. Flint Michigan for example, has received $100 million for water infrastructure upgrades.

And the notion that enforcement under Scott Pruitt’s EPA is lacking is just plain wrong. In fiscal 2017, EPA collected $1.6 billion in administrative and civil judicial penalties. That figure is higher than any of the previous ten years of EPA enforcement operations, excluding fiscal 2016.

President Trump and Administrator Pruitt rightfully believe we can protect our environment without saddling American factories, manufacturing plants and energy operations with billions in unneeded regulatory costs while offering no way to measure any improvement to the environment or our quality of life.

By halting burdensome, often duplicative regulations, Pruitt’s EPA can focus on measurable environmental protection, guided by peer-reviewed science without hurting consumers or Americans looking for skilled jobs in the energy or manufacturing sectors.

Perhaps the most important change of all, Pruitt’s EPA is now operating under the proper rule of law and staying true to its mandate and defined authority by respecting facts rather than ideological fiction. The days of a rogue, agenda driven EPA are over. Pruitt is the right man for the job and it’s no wonder the radical left is screaming for his ouster.

  • Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, Inc.
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