A couple of state Republican lawmakers have filed legislation calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Missouri State Senator Gary Romine of Farmington and State Representative Travis Fitzwater of Holts Summit have offered legislative resolutions asking for the move.
Fitzwater thinks Pruitt would be a welcome change from the EPA under the Obama administration which he claims threatened the livelihoods of thousands of his constituents.
“At the heart of it is just we want to make sure that we have somebody in place who’s going to argue for state’s rights and ensure that we have local control over those things, and not a federal bureaucracy that comes in and takes over our farms and our land and our states.”
Fitzwater says after eight years of overreach by the Obama administration, Pruitt is the perfect choice to reign in the federal agency. “We want somebody in that position that isn’t going to come in and use the strong hand of a regulators body to force people all over the country into regulations that inhibit our economy and our farms.”
In a joint statement released with Fitzwater, Romine said he’s seen firsthand the devastating impact of the EPA’s overreach under Obama.
He said “We appreciate Sen. (Roy) Blunt’s support for Pruitt’s nomination and would ask Sen. (Claire) McCaskill” to join with Missourians in supporting this important nomination”, referring Missouri’s Democratic senior Senator.
Fitzwater points out that Blunt, a Republican, has been especially effective arguing against EPA policy under Obama known as “Waters of the U.S.”
“What he mentioned is that if the Waters of the U.S. rule went into effect, the regulation would make it so that almost every piece of land in the state of Missouri could be regulated by the EPA” said Fitzwater. “That is not OK.”
McCaskill also has fought against the rule, breaking away from the policy of a President she shares party affiliation with.
Critics of Pruitt, say the Republican placed the interest of campaign donors over the environment. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, he’s sent letters to federal regulators which were written by industry lobbyists and then placed on his offices letterhead.
Pruitt’s opponents also say he’s sought to undermine the agency he would head. He’s sued the EPA 14 times with mixed results. He’s been roundly criticized by Democrats for being too cozy with the oil industry he regulates in Oklahoma.
The resolutions by Fitzwater and Romine are identical. If adopted by their respective chambers, both the state’s House and Senate would send a letter to the U.S. Senate calling for Pruitt’s confirmation.