Oil industry speaks out after Florida rep suggests shutting down EPA

Posted February 09, 2017

ECU's Vice Chancellor of Research, Economic Development and Engagement Dr. Michael Van Scott said in an email statement that only a small number of faculty members are now receiving or seeking funding from the EPA for research programs. Don Parrish, AFBF's senior director of congressional and regulatory relations told the Washington Post that he believes Pruitt's strengths lie in his past work in state agency. "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".

Case in point, on Friday February 3, Republican Florida congressman Matt Gaetz presented the bill H.R.861, which would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

His supporters - a list that includes industry groups and most Republicans - expect Pruitt to use a potential position at the EPA to pull back Obama-era regulations they consider too broad and potentially against the law. "By contrast, there is little or no evidence of Mr. Pruitt taking initiative to protect and advance public health and environmental protection in his state". Since Donald Trump's inauguration, the government's support of scientists and administrative organizations combating climate change (and protecting the environment) has dramatically decreased. Monday's letter from former EPA officials recalls a scathing quote from William K. Reilly, who was head of the agency under President George H.W. Bush. Resolutions axing regulations on coal pollution in streams and the disclosure of payments to foreign government by fossil fuel firms passed in both the House and Senate last week and are expected to be signed by President Trump in the coming days.

Environmentalists have criticized Pruitt for not doing more to reduce seismic activity linked to oil and gas production in Oklahoma.

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Meanwhile, about 300 people, including many EPA employees, rallied Monday across the street from the agency's regional headquarters in downtown Chicago.

"If America is going to have free trade, it must have fair trade", he told the National Port Authority Conference in October, according to a release from his office.

The letter highlighted Pruitt's "record and public statements", which it said "strongly suggest" that he does not agree with the agency's guiding principles or vision.