New Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to make the agency a place where “federalism matters” and states are not seen as adversaries, he said Tuesday.
“I seek to ensure that we engender the trust of those at the state level,” rather than approach them as “adversaries,” Pruitt said in his first address to agency staff on Tuesday.
He made the comments after being sworn in as President Trump’s head of the EPA on Friday, despite widespread Democratic opposition and protests by environmental groups and former EPA administrators.
Trump has pledged to roll back a number of EPA regulations seen as detrimental to coal miners and energy production jobs.
Pruitt said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a conflict between being pro-energy and pro-environment. “We can be both pro-energy and pro-environment … and we don’t have to choose.”
Pruitt also wants to make sure everything the agency does is based firmly in statute and the law.
He said the agency should abide by the law to “avoid litigation,” devoting more of its time doing the business of the agency, and less time going to court over its regulations.