Rounds Questions EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt at Confirmation Hearing

Rounds: Preserving our environment and preserving the economy are not mutually exclusive

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW), today questioned Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt during his confirmation hearing to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“As the Attorney General, you represented the interests of your state—both your state’s economy and your state’s environment,” said Rounds during the hearing. “But, just because you are pro-economic development does not mean that you have to be anti-environment. Preserving the environment and preserving the economy, I don’t believe, are mutually exclusive. I don’t think you have to choose between the two. How would you balance economic growth with making certain we have clean air and clean water?

“I think part of it is inherent in the statutes and the process that the EPA is supposed to conduct,” replied Pruitt. “Sometimes rulemaking is seen as something that is not terribly important or something laborious, but the reason Congress has said [the EPA] must offer notice on a proposed rule and take comment, is that it’s needed to make sure all voices are heard...So, rulemaking is something we should take seriously and that we should do so consistent with the framework outlined by Congress, so that all voices are heard in the rulemaking process.”