As President Trump prepares for a major shift of the government budget to shore up what many believe is an ailing military budget, former Oklahoma Attorney General and now EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt isn’t talking details of the impact on his agency.
During a question-and-answer session over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Pruitt would not answer to what extent his agency’s resources would be cut.
But it’s no secret Trump has made the EPA a constant target in his campaign themes, indicating there are too many regulations and are a burden on America’s companies. Pruitt’s reputation of taking on the EPA with more than a dozen legal challenges is why President Trump picked him to run the agency.
President Trump was expected this week to sign documents to force the EPA to start undoing some of its new regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
The Environmental Protection Agency has a $8.3 billion budget and 15,000 employees. Earlier news reports showed Myron Ebell, the leader of Trump’s transition team had claimed the EPA workforce could be cut to a third of its current size.
Pruitt is the man picked by Trump to carry out such actions.
“The agency has been used by the previous administration in ways we couldn’t imagine eight years ago,” Pruitt said on Saturday while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Once again, he promised to restore federalism by giving states more say in air and water protection.
“People across the country look at the EPA at the way they look at [the Internal Revenue Service]. We want to change that. There are a lot of changes that need to take place at my agency to restore the rule of law and federalism.
“This president, who is leading with great decisiveness, great action, is saying we will fix that. I’m grateful we’ve got that kind of leader in the White House. We should celebrate that.”