Schuette: Want to stop EPA overreach?


As the confirmation process for the members of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet moves forward, the positive direction of our new cabinet is taking shape. Trump has committed to draining the swamp and will change and reform the way government is done for the better.

When Trump named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as his pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, he selected a highly qualified leader who is committed to restoring the proper balance between the power of the states and federal government to protect our environment.

As the head of the EPA, Pruitt will reverse this trend of bypassing Congress and ignoring the will of the people and the courts and return the agency to its original goal: keeping our air clean and our water safe.

Pruitt has been a strong voice for stopping the out-of-control Obama-era EPA regulations that have destroyed millions of American jobs and cost consumers their hard earned dollars.

Pruitt and I have stood together on numerous important environmental issues. During the Obama administration, the EPA frequently overstepped its boundaries, ignoring each state’s energy resources and forcing a nationalized energy agenda.

Under the Obama administration, the EPA has attempted to classify even the smallest body of water as able to be regulated by the EPA, including ponds in the middle of a farm field, as part of the Waters of the United States Rule. They ignored the need to examine the energy needs and sources of specific states with the Clean Power Plan. Closer to home, in Michigan v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the EPA must consider costs and that it interpreted the Clean Air Act unreasonably when it determined that it did not need to consider costs when it implemented regulation.

Failure to take into account the cost of regulation was a reoccurring theme during the Obama administration. The EPA also tried to regulate methane in attempt to find a problem where there isn’t one. The oil and natural gas industry has made a point to reduce methane emissions on their own. Why? Because they have a financial incentive to capture and sell the methane gas produced through drilling.

Imagine the costs of the regulatory environment created by the Obama EPA on the average Michigan resident, the increased cost of food and starting a business. The era of a job killing EPA will soon be over.

We stood together, not against the environment, but against the wasteful spending and harmful regulation put forth by bureaucrats in Washington.

With Pruitt at the helm of the EPA, no more will we see the agency ignoring the laws passed by congress or rulings handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court cast aside.

Pruitt will protect our environment while ensuring that you and I can still afford to turn the lights on and fill our cars up with gas.

I encourage the U.S. Senate — and Michigan’s senators — to hire Scott Pruitt by confirming him as the administrator of the EPA.

Bill Schuette is the attorney general of Michigan.