"As a lifelong Democrat, I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the right choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency." - Former Oklahoma Attorney General Michael Turpin
"I know Scott Pruitt, he's a good man and an honorable man. He and I have differing policy positions. I was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I know that Scott Pruitt will restore a notion of rule of law to the EPA." - Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
This week former Democrat Oklahoma Attorney General Michael Turpin and former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel came out in support of President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
With all the fireworks of the 2016 campaign now silenced, President-elect Donald Trump is getting to work assembling a government. As a lifelong Democrat, I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the right choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.
As a Democrat, I take seriously the threats to our environment, and I believe we must work to address issues like pollution, climate change, and ensuring clean air and water. However, these problems must be solved within the framework of the law. The Obama Administration, as passionate as it may be about a clean environment, has frequently gone outside of a legal framework to achieve the desired results, applying inconsistent regulations and frequently finding itself in court.
Moreover, many EPA regulations crafted by the Obama Administration have simply been too onerous for American businesses. Whether it’s an unabashed war on coal or the job-killing set of rules inherent in the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s energy plan has imposed a set of undue burdens on American business, and especially our energy industry. We’ve lost billions to our economy because of unfair and arbitrary regulations.
As EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt is set to reverse both those trends. His deep background in Constitutional law, combined with a nuanced understanding of how environmental regulations affect the economy, mean that he will be a thoughtful leader of the EPA, and one capable of striking the balance between protecting the environment and our economy.
Scott Pruitt understands that an American energy revolution is a means of new jobs and new wealth in our country. Of course, the energy industry, just like any other industry, should be subject to appropriate scrutiny to make sure laws are followed and Americans are safe. But that doesn’t mean it should be a political target. Scott Pruitt will end the ideological targeting of the energy industry and free up a job-creating engine that is waiting to translate the power of American natural resources into good jobs. The potential for the energy industry to contribute to an economic renaissance is enormous: half a million jobs each year and $30 billion in higher wages, according to one study.
As attorney general, Scott Pruitt made every effort to uphold the rule of law against an overzealous EPA. His challenge to the Clean Power Plan went all the way to the Supreme Court because he was concerned about the encroachment of federal power on the state of Oklahoma’s statutory right to set its own regulations. Oklahoma has cut greenhouse gasses without a federal crackdown, and AG Pruitt made sure that the federal government could not boss around a state government that had already successfully improved the quality of the environment.
Lastly, the world has never been hungrier for energy, and Scott Pruitt knows we must support America's energy independence rather than be beholden to energy-rich countries in the Middle East who don’t always have our best interests in mind. He’s ready to support all sources of energy, because this gives us the best chance to give consumers access to clean, safe, and affordable energy.
Lastly, the job of the EPA is the essential mission of guaranteeing clean air and clean water. Scott Pruitt has never compromised those critical components of a healthy population with any actions he has taken. “We drink the water, we breathe the air here in Oklahoma. To think that we don’t care about that, and somehow are being led to sacrifice those things...not accurate,” Pruitt told the Financial Times.
Scott Pruitt will work to protect our natural habitats, reserves, and resources, while freeing energy producers to stimulate economic growth and opportunity for all Americans. His clear vision for a proper relationship between protection and prosperity makes him superbly qualified to serve as our next EPA administrator.
Well, first of all, I know Scott Pruitt, he's a good man and an honorable man. He and I have differing policy positions. I was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I know that Scott Pruitt will restore a notion of rule of law to the EPA, and Democrats and Republicans around the country alike have been concerned over the last few years about how the EPA has pushed regulations without necessarily always having them rooted either in their legal authority or legal process or in sound science. So a lot of litigation between the states has had to unfold over the last several years.
Scott is well aware of that. He's led some of it. I participated in some of it when I was still the Democratic Attorney General of Arkansas. But I know Scott will bring a lot of experience in finding real world solutions. We have years, years of water quality litigation between Arkansas and Oklahoma, and frankly no one thought we could resolve that. I want went to Oklahoma City, met with General Pruitt right after he got elected, and said let's chart a new path where we work to improve our environment, improve our economy and do it together out of court.
And what we did was nothing short of historic, and I've seen him in action, and I think he would take that same experience to the EPA.
About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General. In 2016 Republican attorneys general maintained their national majority, increasing the number of GOP attorneys general to 29. Over the course of the 2015-2016 cycle, RAGA raised a historic high of more than $23 million to support investments in campaigns across the country.