January 17, 2017
The Honorable John Barrasso
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Barrasso,
Independent Women’s Voice applauds Scott Pruitt’s nomination as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
For the past eight years, the Obama administration has pursued a far-left anti-growth agenda. The Environmental Protection Agency has cranked out around 4,000 regulations, taking a major toll on the U.S. economy. This regulatory spree hasn’t just affected big business; for American families, it has meant fewer jobs and significantly more expensive commodities, gasoline and utilities.
As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has led the fight against the EPA’s worst excesses.
Pruitt believes that far-reaching environmental policies deserve the consideration of elected officials, who respect the voters, not the activism of radical bureaucrats, who are indifferent to or contemptuous of the very people whom they should be serving. To that end, Pruitt has battled executive-branch overreach, playing a central role in several states’ court challenge against the Clean Power Plan.
Imposed by bureaucratic fiat, the Clean Power Plan exemplifies the EPA’s heavy-handed approach to policy and end-run around the legislative process. The regulation fails even the most rudimentary cost/benefit analysis – despite compliance costs as high as $479 billion it will affect climate change by less than two-hundredths of a degree Celsius by 2100. It massively restructures America’s energy sector, and it has already cost hundreds of jobs in traditional energy sectors. The Clean Power Plan will also raise household electricity bills by double digits in almost every state – something that may not bother regulators at the EPA, but which does bother many American households.
With Pruitt at the helm, states have already succeeded in securing a stay against this destructive and legally questionable policy. Leading the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt could tell appellate courts the agency now disavows the warped legal logic that justified this massive regulation, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board recently noted. Anticipating Democrats’ uproar over Pruitt's nomination, the newspaper added, “The irony is that Mr. Pruitt will probably do more for the environment than Mr. Obama ever did because he will make sure that rules issued by the EPA are rooted in law and thus won’t be overturned in court.”
Pruitt has also powerfully argued that states are generally best equipped to address environmental and economic issues. For the past six years, he has condemned Washington’s “one-size-fits-all strategy, a command-and-control kind of approach,” as he once described it, even creating a “federalism unit” in his office.
Pruitt also targeted the federal government’s lack of transparency, especially pushing for disclosure about the agency’s questionable interactions with the environmentalist left. Though President Obama promised “the most transparent administration in history,” his EPA has habitually cowered from sunlight. The agency’s former head, Lisa Jackson, even used the email alias “Richard Windsor” to hide correspondence that should rightly be public record.
Pruitt deserves credit for using the power of public information laws to probe how the federal government had worked with environmental activists and special-interest groups. He’s especially examined “sue and settle” practices, a form of sweetheart deal where bureaucrats collude with green groups to create court-ordered mandates for more regulation.
For too long, the EPA’s ideological agenda has come at the expense of everyday Americans. A saner EPA will protect the environment while also safeguarding the economy and the interests of the American people. Sound environmental policies are grounded in sound science, and they acknowledge the costs of regulation along with the benefits. We’re confident Scott Pruitt is the leader necessary to restore this much-needed balance to the EPA.
President and CEO