Senator Lankford Introduces Scott Pruitt at Nomination Hearing
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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today introduced President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt (R-OK), during his nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works.
Below is the transcript of the speech:
Chairman Barrasso thank you, Ranking Member Carper, Members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me to be able to be here today and introduce my fellow Oklahoman, and for Senator Inhofe and I to both be able to stand with him and to be able to introduce who we believe will be a tremendous nominee as administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.
It is an honor to speak in support of Attorney General Pruitt today. Over the past 6 years, Scott has been a leader in the State of Oklahoma strongly committed to enforcing the law and adhering to the Constitution. He is a statesman, he is a dedicated public servant.
As the Administrator of the EPA, I would fully expect Scott to lead the agency to follow every environmental law and to partner with states, local authorities and tribes to do what is best for our present and for our future.
As Attorney General of Oklahoma, he’s stood shoulder-to-shoulder with more than half the states to ensure that the federal government operates within the bounds of the statute and the Constitution. He has argued consistently that many regulations the EPA promulgates are in fact the responsibility of state governments first.
In an environment where Chevron deference is precedent, it is critical that the leader of an agency that has such wide latitude to extract costs from the economy also respects the importance of our federalist foundation and the pocketbooks of hardworking families.
In previous congressional testimony, Scott has emphasized the importance of laws like the Clean Air Act, stressing that the intention was for States and the EPA to work together under a model of cooperative federalism that protects the environment, while considering economic costs.
As Attorney General, Scott has been an ardent defender of the rule of law for Oklahomans. In 2012, he sued British Petroleum arguing that they “knowingly double-dipped” through the collection of funds through a cleanup fund despite having insurance coverage for environmental cleanup. He did not hesitate to stand up for his constituents and his state.
Mike Turpen is the former Attorney General of the state of the Oklahoma and the former chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. He spoke out in mid-December when Scott was first announced. Let me read just a short portion of his very long statement in support of Scott Pruitt. Former Attorney General Mike Turpen, and our former Democratic Party Chairman said, “Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a good choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. I am convinced Scott Pruitt will work to protect our natural habitats, reserves, and resources. His vision for a proper relationship between protection and prosperity makes him superbly qualified to serve as our next EPA administrator.”
Scott is an active member and Deacon at his church—First Baptist Church Broken Arrow—a congregation of almost 2,000 people. He is incredibly strong in his faith and strives to walk with integrity.
Scott is a serious baseball fan as well. If you run out of environmental or legal questions today, which I doubt you will, but if you run out, why don’t you ask him about baseball strategy and Spring Training, which starts in just a few weeks.
I have to tell you, Scott is a friend. I have prayed with Scott; I have seen Scott struggle with hard decisions that affect our state’s future; I have seen Scott listen to people to try to learn all sides of an issue; and, I have seen Scott take difficult stands on matter of law.
I think he will be an excellent Administrator for the EPA, and I think he will do very well today in his chance to bring you the confidence that he will work hard for our nation’s present and for the future.