tv EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN January 18, 2017 1:50pm-4:59pm EST
the air dangerous and that infants in the elderly and people with breathing difficulties should stay home on an otherwise beautiful day. because those smokestacks are out-of-state we need epa to protect us and i see nothing in your record that would give her mom taking her child to the hospital for an asthma attack any comfort that you would take the slightest interest in her, and your passion for devolving power down to states doesn't help us because our state regulators can't do anything about any of those problems. they all come from out-of-state sources. in this respect we are very like delaware. one of the things i would like to ask. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
[inaudible conversation] >> we will resume the confirmation hearing for scott pruitt epa administrator. let me start by saying, sometimes you get a chance to sit down over lunch and you say i've been answering question for two and half hours, you know, i wish i had said something differently about something or other. anything you would like to clarify. >> just one point of clarification in response to senator whitehouse questions about invar mental steps we've taken with respect to the leaky underground storage and double dipping in our state. i have initiated three cases
with respect to valero, bp and conoco. exxon in a number of other cases are still in settlement discussions. they have not materialized in litigation just yet. >> thank you for that clarification. anyway, a couple quick questions. in in the city of cheyenne wyoming, it was discovered that ethylene chemical that's used by the military to degrees the engines of rocket motors was seeping into the cities drinking water supply. the army corps of engineer which was in charge of a nearby former atlas nuclear missile site failed to admit the site was the cause of the pollution. i fought the core on this to do testing needed to prove what was obvious to everyone who looked at it. the test results showed a large plume coming from the atlas site directly into the city well. the court is addressing the pollution and the city's water supply is protected through a treatment facility that was installed by the core. can you give me an example when you served as oklahoma state atty. general where you and after polluters held them
accountable in that same way. >> yes, as i indicated earlier, i think this think this was indicated in this morning's testimony, i mentioned the case with the hand producing and i know there was something we initiated. that was both in respect to federal and state violations and we actually joined the state of texas and the epa on enforcement action. i have submitted for the record a list of cases where we've worked with the commission and oklahoma, the deq around some matters and enforcement of our state laws. >> what's troubling too many of us in the previous administration was when
officials within the obama administration went to extraordinary lengths to avoid disclosing their official written communications under the freedom of information act. this is the law that allows public access to government records. for example epa administrator lisa jackson at the time used in epa email account under the name of richard windsor as opposed to her own email account so if confirmed will you refrain from taking any such action that makes it difficult or impossible for the public to access your official written communications under the freedom of information act. >> yes and as i indicated in my opening statement, i believe that transparency and ruling rulemaking is important and that extends to this matter as well. >> i will reserve the reminder remainder of my time. >> as we discussed before you, i think you are part of three lawsuits. one is pending on the epa efforts to reduce mercury emissions from power plants. we know that 50% of our nations mercury relations come from power plants. not nuclear plants, but fossil
fuel plants, largely coal fire plants. we know there are more fish advisory consumptions in the u.s. for mercury than i think all other contaminants combined. including in your home state of oklahoma. if you believe that the epa should not move forward on the mercury and air texans rule, how do states clean up rectory? what are the health impacts of mercury emissions? >> senator, i actually have not stated that i believe the epa should not move forward on regulating mercury or rulemaking in that regard. our challenge was with regard to the process that was used in that case and how it was not complicit which statutes as defined by congress. there is not a statement or believe that i have that victory is something that shouldn't be
regulated under section 112 as a hazardous air pollution. i have, as you know, that is a section that deals with directionally health concerns of our citizens. that is the reason why there is controlled technology that is very heightened in that statute that is required. i believe it or he should be dealt with and dealt with in a meaningful way by the epa but such to the process that this body has outlined we work together for a number of years on clear sky legislations the the george bush legislation had proposed clear skies and several colleagues of my own, including senator alexander worked on legislation similar. one of the differences between what we proposed and the bush administration proposed was with respect to reducing the emissions of mercury. i don't recall exactly what the
bush image ration called for in terms of reduction from power plants and others from mercury but it wasn't very aggressive. i proposed a reduction of 80% over a certain number of years. senator alexander thought folks could do better than 80% and he proposed 90% reduction schedule. we had everyone here at this table, witnesses from utilities and one witness from a trade association representing technology companies that focused on reducing emissions of harm harmful substances into our air and water. every utility representatives that we cannot meet and 80% reduction in mercury. the witness from the trade association representing the industry wanted to reduce mercury and said not only can we meet those riddick reductions over. of time, time, they can exceed them. as it turns out, they exceeded
them. they did better than 80% and did better than 90%. they did it more quickly than anticipated. is that constructive to you in any way, is there any lesson from that experience. >> as i've indicated senator, i really believe it's important in a partnership between epa and the state. i made reference to the phrase earlier national standards and neighborhood solutions. i think that shows epa can be involved and should be involved in setting objective, science -based standards to improve air quality and protect the health of our citizens but also be a meaningful partner with the state in implementing those laws. >> let me stop you there. i like to say in adversity adversity lies opportunity. that's not me but albert einstein. there is economic advantage to be gained from cleaning up pollution. we've seen it with companies
that worked on the mercury emissions during that and we've seen that technology around the world. similar lead there has been money made from diesel omission, reducing emissions from old diesel engines. did you ever give any thought to that, the economic game or advantage that can flow from developing that technology to reduce emissions :
and you need to get out of the way. that's what he said. tells what the rules will be, give us some facts-- flexibility and get out of the way. do you believe setting standards and efficiency requirements that setting those standards making a clear we actually provide certainty and open the door for economic productivity clinic i do, senator, actually. >> can you give us an example where you saw that happened? >> in oklahoma-- this is not widely known because we are known as an oil and gas state and 17% of our electricity is generated through wind. that puts us in the top three in the country and our corporation commission and i actually have obligations to appear before the
commission in setting rates, so as utility companies are looking at modifying their facilities, there are more discussions about doing economically and to achieve the air quality objectives we have under epa mandates as states mandates and i've been very involved in that process through that part of my office. >> think you. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you again before being before us and congratulations on your nomination. >> thank you, senator. >> you know, i think as you can tell from this committee in the country as a divided on a lot of these issues in and around involving what you endeavor to headline here with the eighth-- epa, but i think understanding one another is extremely important no matter how may times i might say the same thing and somewhat else on the other side might say the same thing and it gives me an understanding on where they live and how they think the best way to pursue and
our mental issues are in the crowd that has it joined us here after lunch are several: minors who traveled all morning and have been waiting in the hall and made some new friends in the audience and i want to thank them for coming because those are the faces of the issues i try to address when we are talking about the different facets of the regulatory environment we see that has been put forth over the last several years and this question is for you all. in my very first hearing as united states senator on this committee we had that assistant administrator, jenna mckay, testifying about epa co2 rules and when i pressed her about why in the public meetings on the existing rules epa had not bothered to come to west virginia or for that matter any of the other states that most heavily rely on coal for electricity generation and this is what she said and i quote: we tried to when we were scheduling national level meetings we wanted to have those
in locations where people were comfortable coming. mr. attorney general, i want you to be comfortable coming anywheren this country to talk about whether it's rhode island or west virginia, alaska, people need to know you are listening and that you understand the ramifications for the decisions that you make, so this did not sit well for me. we had a meeting after that in west virginia, which is the birthplace of the ranking member and we had bo copley there, a laid off: minor and he talked about all the hardships of his friends and neighbors in the county commissioner talked about the loss of revenue to the county and how it impacts the school system in the real estate values and all of the difficult companies and people who have been out of work, so i would implore you to commit today to visit west virginia, both sides of west virginia and to talk to
our coal miners and their families to talk about what the job, economic impact and how we can work together with both sides to try to get the intended goal of cleaner air, clearwater. >> i appreciate you sharing that and the reason i mention in my opening statement the importance of listening and leading in this process i been a part of his new , but i spent time with each of you, many of you in individual meanings in the senator talked about issues that were important to her. you cited concerns and issues important to you in west virginia and i think it's a very important if confirmed as administrator that i spend time responding, learning and listening to you and your respective states and trying to be helpful with regards to environmental issues that you face. >> that means a lot. thank you. i would like to get clarification on a topic that has been coming up and coming up about how he times us attorney general discuss the epa and you
said the rule of what is important to you and then you talk about several of the cases probably most of the cases you brought for it is not so much as the process or whether the rule of law has been overstepped with the boundaries of the epa and the intent of congress by legislating to the epa has been overstepped. of the courts have agreed in some cases. would you kind of restate that position on the different actions? >> as i've indicated, probably more so than most statutes passed by congress, this body has recognized the importance and vibrant role the states play in partnership with the epa in implementing and a forcing our environmental and many of you have talked about that in your offices. when we talk about rule of law as you deal with mercury, as you do with co2 and water issues around what is the definition
and in those cases it's important you do so consistent with the framework established by this body has that gives confidence to the people regulating. when you have an administrative agency of any kind that acts inconsistent or tries to enlarge it its authority it really does not inspire confidence. you see a matter of picking winners and losers as opposed to protecting people and so that rule of law is not something that's academic in my view or something that's just legal it's important to ensure good outcomes as far as improving our air and protecting our waters. >> thank you. >> senator whitehouse. >> thank you chairman. mr. pruitt, when we left off we were talking about things to quote the chairman might place to you and that conflict of interest that have not been disclosed and we were talking about the dark money operation that supports the republican
attorney general's association. before we get back into that when me ask you this as a hypothetical, if you had raised significant amounts of money for the rule of law defense fund from corporations who will be subject to epa's regulation before epa, matters before epa, might that place you in a conflict of interest? >> the epa and its counsel has a set them by the way these are career individuals as you know, senator. a career person that epa ethics and so as they reviewed these potential conflicts they-- i have disclosed all entities i been affiliated with-- >> i understand that, but i'm asking you if it could place you in a conflict of interest because we both understand that the ethics rules epa is enforcing predates citizens united and predates dark money
and they said in the letter they are not even looking at that because they don't have the authority to. that does not mean it's not a conflict of interest. to be a regulatory authority on government ethics has not caught up with the post citizen dark money world. you are a lawyer and you know conflict of interest and you have been in attorney general. might it be eight conflict of interest would-- within your definition of the term if you had raised significant amounts of money for this rule of law defense fund and they had business before epa with you? is that a potential conflict of interest? >> i think you did address those entities to the degree i was never on officer superfund you-- the super pack you referred to and so they have looked at-- >> the question was fund-raising >> they looked at those entities and determined the nature of my relationship and indicated that those as cases arose.
>> right now the chairman asked your question, which is are there matters that might play shoot a conflict of interest you have not disclosed and you answered, no. of my to not having raised significant money, let's say a million dollars. let's say you made a call and said i did your money for you, we have got this dark money thing where we can monitor your identity clean off of it in the money will go into rogge and i need a million bucks out of you. might that not create a conflict of interest for you if that were the facts? >> as you have indicated in the letter to me and these are career individuals that epa that if a particular matter involving specific parties arise in the future it will be evaluated at that point. >> how will they know if you are not reeling to disclose? >> those are not even covered entities under their letter. >> that's my point, but it may well credit conflict of interest, might it not?
>> i do not serve as a operator of capacity at the time. >> that's also not the question. the question is simple, did you raise money for the rule of law defense fund from entities that will appear before epa as potential defendants and subject to regulation and if so how much what did you tell them and what did you ask? it seems to me that's not unusual-- >> the rule of law defense fund would need to be a party in the future for that to be an issue. that's what she's indicated in her letter to me. at the time, if this arise in the future i will seek counsel of epa ethics involving the advice of the career folks and recuse if necessary. >> at this point to what i read it-- deduce from the statement is if the facts were true and you had raised a million dollars from a big energy corporation to go through the rule of law defense fund and support your efforts that it's not something
anyone should care about even if that corporation is before you at epa and subject to your regulation? >> if presented in the future, that would-- epa ethics would evaluate that and i would take the appropriate steps to recuse. >> how would it be presented in the future if you are not willing to present it now? >> if there is a matter case that becomes-- comes before the epa authority. there's ongoing as you know, ongoing obligations i will have if confirmed as administrator to bring those matters to epa ethics. >> for what it's worth i think the senate has a role in policing this as well, that the whole purses-- purses-- purpose is that so we can look at this exact question and the fact they have not been updated to take into account dark money and all of these big political organizations that have been created with dark money destined to take away our obligation to
find out what conflicts of interest you will bring to the position of administrator and it gives me little comfort you are not willing to answer those questions here. my time has expired and i will continue at other rounds. >> i would like to introduce an article from the associated press in the seattle times headlined ethics official clear trumpet epa nominee. said the office of ethics that-- release date report for scott pruitt. of the ethics office affirmed that pruitt's disclosures comply with federal laws and rules and his finances are among the least complicated of trumps cabinet nominees. senator bozeman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i really do find it ironic and hypocritical that we are in a situation that my friends on the other side of the aisle of this committee using their definition of dark money as elected officials have literally raise
millions of dollars from so-called dark money. i'd like to talk a little bit about some of the over regulatory burdens. air-quality in arkansas, is among some of the cleanest in the nation despite the progress that is made looking forward try to do the right thing. of the regional federal plan is going to produce a tremendous economic burden on i think a prime example of the haphazard regulatory atmosphere we have had not passed with little input from the state and stakeholders. four years the regulatory certainty has prevented businesses from hiring new employees, is stunted economic growth in the national small business association found that more than half of small businesses have held off on hiring because they don't know what the rules will be.
you have mentioned several times, can you talk a bit more about the impact you have seen in regard to regulatory's uncertainty in the state of oklahoma and the experiences you have had. >> we have had similar challenges in oklahoma. the regional aids program under the clean air act, that section is really quite a bit too different than other provisions and gives the states to adopt plans to increase or improve visibility. that says by the year 2064 we should have natural visibility in key areas across the country. oklahoma several years ago under a different administration of governor and attorney general submitted a state of implementation plan that beat the deadline by decades, but despite that epa came in and rejected that plan and force the federal plan on the state costing consumers quite a bit of money. i would add that i did not talk about earlier, we talked about cooperative federalism and of
the importance of partnerships. i talked about that you have talked about that. under the past administration the use of federalization plan if you combine president bush, president clinton and president george w. bush those three administrations combined issued by the federal implementations plan of the clear air act. this administration has issued 56, so it shows an attitude of trying to be dictatorial in some respects towards the states role or manipulate the straight role in a way that is counterproductive for air-quality. >> so, will you and fellow attorney generals of other stakeholders sue the federal government whether its regional haze or waters of the us or whatever? your goal is not to do away with regulation, your goal is to make it such that the epa follow their regulatory authority. is that correct? >> yes, senator.
an example i provided where the state implementation plan of oklahoma that was rejected we actually satisfied the statutory mandate under the program and we reach national visibility a couple decades ahead of schedule the methodology use the epa just disagreed with it, so they use their authority to displace that plan costing consumers of the state hundreds of millions of dollars in utility costs. >> one of the things i think we have seen also in the last eight years is tremendous mission creep on the part of the epa where they have gotten into areas where they don't have the expertise. they don't have the-- expertise i think would be the best in regards to coming out with some of the things they have done where they lack jurisdiction and have not really been in the past. can we count on you to work with the other agencies to take their expertise into careful consideration as we come out
with the rules and regulations? >> i think interagency cooperation is very important. obviously with rulemaking that occurs and it should occur in a very collaborative way and so yes, senator i think it's important that epa to conduct its business and it works with the core and other agencies at a level to ensure it's doing all he can to advance water and air quality and do sue in the framework established by congress. >> does it feel like it's the ultimate decider again when they sometimes do not have the expertise of the other agencies? >> yes, senator. i agreed. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator merkley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. pruitt, are you familiar with this piece of equipment? >> yes. inhaler it looks like? >> asthma inhaler. are you familiar with how many americans have asthma? >> no, senator, i'm not.
>> about a one out of 10 americans including over 7 million children, so it's a pretty significant health problem across the country and i know i have been fortunate not to have asthma, but some folks i know who have and have asthma attacks feel like they're suffocating and sometimes they go into crisis. sometimes they die from it, so it's a terrifying condition. the epa in october 2015 strengthen the national ambient air quality standards for ground-level ozone and strengthened it to 70 parts per billion adjusting from 75 parts per billion because they argued it was containable standard that would save three to 6 billion dollars and in addition greatly improve the quality of life by diminishing the amount of asthma attacks and deaths. you challenge this.
you launched a lawsuit against this standard. was the basis of your lawsuit cost-benefit analysis that they did not follow the process? >> it was not. the litman decision says cost cannot be considered. >> what was the standard you are challenging? >> records based challenge that the need to ratchet down from 75 parts a billion to 70 parts per billion-- you know the 70 parts per billion had only been in the inauguration for two years and i think it's important for a reason-- resource perspective of the epa would 40% of the country is a nonattainment for those pollutants perhaps there should be focused on how to meet the level already and rule-- >> you challenge this based on the attain ability standard? >> records based challenge, yes. >> and there were numerous groups that wade in and said, no , this is totally attainable.
i will submit a list with a record of that, mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> the key to this is that by implementing that it would save annually 200 30,000-- estimate of course, asthma attacks among children and 160,000 this school days, tremendous number of missed workdays, 630 emergency room visits and 340 cases of acute bronchitis. but, it also would save best estimate 320 to 600 deaths, so here's something that profoundly affects the health of folks in oklahoma and across the country and folks in my home state of oregon and something expert after experts that is fully attainable and you challenge it not on a process issue that is not on whether or not there was a cost-benefit analysis, but
whether it was attainable. so, why fight so on the side of the oil industry? rather than fighting on the side of the health of the people of oklahoma? >> senator, let me say to you with respect to the program when you look at to the on nonattainment we have in this country is presley around 40%. increasing that nonattainment percentage as opposed to focusing resources into attainment is important role of the epa and we should take those marginal and moderate areas that are nonattainment and work with local officials and counties through monitoring and assistance to help move the nonattainment to attainment. that's the goal of the epa. >> thank you. thank you. you have major point clear. i civilly disagree with you. none of these standards when set are attained enough the point. its objective to be worked at overtime and there's a strategy that this might take till 2025
to be implemented. in the course of laying out the vision and having folks across the country work towards that vision you end up saving nature medicine amount of money and a tremendous amount of lives and i as a senator from oregon fighting for the quality of life of my-- people in my state i represent folks my constituents. it's a question of values and values, profits of companies over the health of our citizens is a character issue and that's what these hearings are all about. you are charged to determine whether or not an individual is this a character and to me this is a character issue valuing profits over people's health. thank you, mr. chairman. >> samiti for the record a report by the national black chamber of commerce entitled potential impact of proposed epa regulations on low income groups and minority took the report
goes from 2015 and goes on to say epa regulations including its regulation on carbon dioxide emissions would result in the year 2020, nearly 200,000 black jobs would be lost and more than 300,000 hispanic jobs would be lost and additionally there would be commencement with men-- and this with a medium household income decreasing throughout communities listed throughout the purport senator fisher. >> thank you, mr. chairman. here we go again on row number two, so i am happy we have an opportunity to continuing questioning. nebraska, much like oklahoma is a rural state and with many cases the closest town or the neighbor can be located miles and sometimes hours away. in nebraska one of a four job sister of the tied to production agriculture.
under this administration farmers and ranchers felt especially targeted by the epa. for example, in 2011 and 2012, epa region seven conducted aerial surveillance or flyovers of feed yards in my state. while flying over my state the epa documented these facilities with photographs pick this was very disconcerting to me given that many livestock producers in nebraska also live and raise their families on these properties. not only were these producers not informed beforehand, but the epa has already delegated the authority to carry out the clean water act in nebraska to the state department of economic-- or environmental quality. what will you do to ensure that the epa sticks to its core mission and furthermore, how will you work with the regulated community including agriculture to build trust among constituencies that have been i would say the subject of
bullying tactics by this epa we have now? >> senator, as i indicated in my opening statement some core themes if confirmed i was seek to comply with participation, for public participation to ensure all voices are heard and epa conducts its activities with respect to rulemaking and i think what you are referring to is a lack of that voice opportunity in the last several years, so i would work to build a collaborative relationship with those states as i have indicated. i think it's at the state level and they are valuable partners and we need to restore the confidence in the partnership with the epa and seek to listen to community concerns in addressing and responding to environmental issues. >> thank you. in one of her exit interviews epa administrator judy mccarthy has admitted that she has had a bad relationship with agriculture and the agricultural community and she listed it as
one of her regrets. i think a bad relationship is an understatement in this case. this administration, the epa philosophy is diametrically opposed to the idea that farmers can be good stewards of our land, our water, our environment and instead it seems this administration epa wanted to regulate and in the some cases it to look like they wanted to prevent forming. the agricultural community is looking forward to a new leadership with the epa and working with you and mr. chairman, i have hear some statements from agriculture officials and groups that i would like inserted into the record. >> without objection. >> if i may i would close by quoting a few of those. jim agrees, oklahoma secretary of agriculture says that scott pruitt continued epa effort to protect our environment with respect towards land owners, taxpayers, businesses and
congress. that is nice to hear, sir. troy stillwater, nebraska cattle president stated simply put, mr. pruitt sees clearly that our culture is not opposing terms, but rather, from entry. he will work to cultivate the relationship, which will lead to the us leading in the food and fiber production while improving the environment in which it's accomplished. again, i'm happy to look forward to that relationship being established again, so that all parts of our society here in this country can participate and receive the regulate-- recognition that we are good stewards of the land. if confirmed, what will be your relationship with the agricultural community? will you enforce current laws and will you also respect the limits that we have on those laws?
>> yes on both accounts, senator also a theme i have mentioned in my opening statement that i would highlight again is that we need to reject this paradigm of pro- energy or anti- environment i believe we as a country have demonstrated and made great progress since 1970s improving our air quality in protecting waters. we can grow our economy and protect to be good stewards of our environment and we need to restore that balance as we seek to do our job. >> thank you. as i said earlier, every member of this committee believes in clean-air, clean water and we want an environment that is respected where we can manage our natural resources in a responsible manner, so thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. senator cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to get your understanding i heard you say you wanted to see the regulations and laws
predictable so stakeholders know exactly what is required, so there's no confusion. i went to concentrate on the waters of the us because ever since the supreme court decision there has been an uncertainty as to what waters are in fact subject to regulation by the federal government and what waters are not. do you believe that clarity should be set by statute or should it be set by regulations from epa? >> senator, i think it's a great question and as you look at the cases going back to the debut, all the way back i think you are exactly correct. the definition the clean water act says navigable waters are waters of the united states and that does not provide a great deal of 32 those that administer the law and i think the epa taking steps to provide clarity is important, absent congress responding, so i think perhaps
there is a time and place for article one response, congressional response to what this body means when it says navigable waters of the united states. >> of course, the converse for whatever reasons for a long. neck of time has not been able to respond as to what we think the definition of the waters of the us should be. administration did come forward with propose regulations, which were resisted by many in the stakeholders that you are aware of. how would you define waters of the us quite what was wrong with the regulation? tell me where do you think we should regulate? you already said more than just navigable, so how do we define it? >> the challenge of until now with the-- with respect to the current rule and this involves actually the qr case where justice korea talked about the counterbalance of the epa where
the steps taken by the epa to take the endangerment finding in 2009 and a link that over to the psd program. .. you obviously didn't think those exceptions were clear enough. >> actually the sixth circuit said that those clarifications were not sufficient. i would agree with you that i believe clarity around this definition, the jurisdiction of the epa is essential to get right and to address.
and as i indicated earlier to some questions the supreme court has taken up a matter from last friday, more jurisdictional and not merit-based. the response by congress, the response to provide clarity perhaps is a very important step to take. >> i want to pursue this and i think we can ask questions for the record to specific provisions you believe should be in that role that would be different than the proposed rule. appreciate a response to this week and tried try to see where we are heading in your thought process as to how you define the regulated waters of the u.s. that would be helpful to us. >> and i think the reason it's a difficult is because in that process, whatever process that would take place, that would be rulemaking which means there would be comet -- >> i understand that. i'm not trying to get every i doubt it just look at your philosophy as to where lines would be drawn and where you took exception to the regulatory
efforts of the obama administration. let me get to the second point if i might on fracking. fracking is an interesting because it state regulated principally, very few federal regulations. there's been, and my state as deposits that can be subject to fracking. and pennsylvania are neighboring status than that. there's some problems with pollution water. we know about the gas releases are even talked about. there's some concern particularly with deep well drilling that when you inject the food back into the cavities that it may cause instability. in your state under the were a lot of earthquakes. there's been talk about whether the earthquakes were motivated by the fracking activities or not. how well have the states regulated fracking cracks where do you see the federal role should be in protecting our environment from fracking? >> i'm glad you have mentioned there were state role because
women regulate hydraulic fracturing in oklahoma since the late 1940s, early 1950s. it's not a new process. horizontal drilling is but a hydraulic fracturing is not. with response to this issue you're talking about, the earthquakes in oklahoma, the corporation commission has declared off-limits certain drilling activity in hotspots already. they've taken a very aggressive approach. i share the concern. i've been in conversation with the commission. they had taken again very meaningful steps to declare off-limits certain drilling activity to try to see if it will help reduce the number earthquakes that have been in oklahoma and have felt spirit thank you. >> senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have two unanimous consent request an order to start my clock it. one is i really believe and perhaps overly sensitive to
this, that mr. promotes integrity has been put into question with the accusations of contributions to his campaign. i'd like to keep in mind the oil industry is a huge industry. middle income people will say yes we are, they support may also. but i think we need to have in the record that there are some things that are going on that should not be going on and this affects the democrats and not the republicans. as a guy named tom stier, and put this in the record, the city is going to put $100 million into the campaigns, individuals, talking about the global warming and what he's expecting. in 2016 he didn't do that. he only put in, i'm sorry, 14, 75 million of his own money. in 2016 he was the largest contributor putting in $86 million million dollars of his own money.
i'm going to read this because it does reflect the names of people who are on this dais. i ask unanimous consent this be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> reserving certification. the monies you're referring to, where those donations that were disclosed, fully disclose? >> i believe they were. >> then that does not sound like pac money to me. >> all right. anyway, on the last question that mr. pruitt had concerning the earthquakes, i'd like to make this the part of the record because it will surprise you guys that the obama corporation commission has really focused in on this thing and talked about this is wastewater disposal wells that we're concerned with. they clapped him on and you're exactly right in your response to the question except it go far enough. in 2016 they actually reduced the earthquakes by 31%.
and so we are doing in the state of oklahoma something that we've been consummated about. the fact that we are taking these actions picks over like to make this -- >> without objection. >> now, the other thing i want to bring out an addend this before, but it wasn't going to do it until people kept talking about the science is settled, the science is settled, the site is subtle. adding a people want to believe that, but i remember so well, go ahead and start the clock, that's fine. i remember so well -- we just want to make sure the clock doesn't just get stop for republicans -- >> you are alert, i will say that. [laughter] anyway, i've can remember when i was going to go come every year the yuan has a big party and invite everyone in and i was going to go to copenhagen to be the one-man truth squad, which i did and i went over there.
but during that time right before i left i asked the administrator of the epa, the job that you are i believe going to have, lisa jackson, i said i have a feeling want to leave town you're going to come up with an endangerment finding and you're going to give you justification for getting involved in this issue. and she smiled so i could tell it was true and i said, when you do this it has to be based on science. tell me the science that you're going to use for this, and she said i bcc, intergovernmental panel on climate change. as luck would have it, my luck, not theirs, right after that is when climate gate came and that's when it was disclosed that the individuals, the scientists in ipcc raked up the numbers and came up with such an outrageous lie in terms of what cause global warming come all about and how just read a couple of them. one of the physicists in the ipcc said climate gate was a
fraud on a scale i've never seen before. clive cook with the financial times said the closemindedness of the supposedly of science is surprising even to me. the intellectual corruption is overpowering. and the uk telegraph, that's one of the largest in the uk, their publications, that it's the worst scientific scandal of our generation. nobody talks about that. that's the sites they're talking about and i really believe it's frustrating to have that a part of this record. of this meeting. now, general pruitt, in 2012 the epa and the national highway traffic safety administration issued updated fuel economy standards that were the result of a compromise, and that come from ice was between the obama administration, the automakers and the state of california, right? part of this deal required a review of these regulations in
2018 before, their words not mine, before any new standards were put in place. after losing the election, the obama administration broke the deal by prematurely issuing new regulations. this decision was made unexpectedly and well over a year before the epa said it would make the determination. this shortened timeframe and process is concerning. so mr. chairman, i do asking endless consent the previous epa timeline for the expected action on the midterm review be included in the record. >> without objection. >> and attorney general pruitt, as administered when you look into this matter to see whether this extreme action was appropriate or hasty political decision? >> center, as you indicated, the obligation was to make the november 2008 midterm review -- 2018 midterm review. i think the study that was
completed, was finish december 3030 at the issued the findings within 14 days. that time period is something i'm not sure that normally happens as far as the time, the velocity of 14 days but it merits review and i would review that. >> the follow-up would be would you commit to sitting down with the transportation secretary elaine chao -- i've only to her about this incidentally, both would be confirmed i'm convinced, and you are working to address the effects of epa's decision on automobile manufacturers and consumers? >> yes. >> work with her on that issue? >> absolutely spirit very good. >> senator booker. >> thank you very much. i just want to jump in to one of the areas you said a principled part of your achievements. in your opening statement you said as attorney general you can find with an important water quality issue on the scenic illinois river, high phosphorus
levels that were causing a range of problems that come from the maneuver, principally from farm animals. you going to state this was a historic agreement to clean up the river. he was in your opening statement a number of the other documents that you provide. you also described the agreement with arkansas as an important agreement to reduce the pollution agenda was a result from poultry growers. according to directly, occurring as result of pollution from poultry growers. are you familiar with this? >> yes. also discharged from the decibels and north with arkansas as well stick an important point come yesterday i would like to ask you to some questions about this but i think it's important i really dig into this and did some research. can you hold this up? i just want to go to my colleagues with the fact pattern is that led to this moment where you intervened. it starts with the supreme court decision way back in 1992, arkansas versus oklahoma. i imagine you are familiar with the supreme court decision that resulted in a lawsuit between the two states that help the basically up real estate such as
arkansas must comply with watercolor standards that are adopted a downriver states and then approved by the epa. you are familiar with that? >> i'm familiar with the litigation. >> after that decision effective july 1, 2002 oklahoma actually did adopt a point 037 water quality standard for phosphorus. important they gave a decade, 10 you're. before full compliance was required. and then in 2003 your predecessor negotiated agreement with arkansas which i have read called the statement of joint principles and actions. i'd like to enter that for the record. >> without objection. >> in 2003 to give ortiz to this, this goes to what you are saying about municipalities included phosphorus limits for municipal discharges. that agreement also i read through also states oklahoma will reevaluate the .037 criteria for seven criteria for total phosphorus in okemos
rivers by 2012. and then this is a big part in accordance with the instructions, mandates to the supreme court, the epa gave its approval to oklahoma's .037 phosphorus standard. this was critical because under the supreme court decision now oklahoma had a water quality standard approved by the epa that was now enforceable against states like arkansas. let's fast forward to 2012, oklahoma's water resources board reviewed the best scientific information available in 2012. it reevaluated and reaffirmed the .037 phosphorus standard. mr. chair, i want to put an executive summary of that review. >> without objection sputum that june 30, 2012, the tenure phase-in going back -- 10 year -- that actions my uncle, stays in.
was in full compliance with the .037, became required. it became now what was required by the states. so just to recap all of this because it's a lot, 20 years, oklahoma's epa approved zero point 37 phosphorus standard, more than two decades in the making. it'd just been reaffirmed by vail, water resources board and then the 10 year compliance. phase-in had expired. and so when you said you had entered into a second agreement with arkansas that in your words was a historic agreement to clean up the river that would reduce pollution from poultry growers, and this is the question that i have sincerely, i pulled that 2000 agreement and read it. excuse me, the 2013 agreement and read it, and it was stunning to see that actually didn't take any steps to reduce pollution but actually only proposed another unnecessary study and attempts to suspend compliance
that was two decades in the making with the zero point 37 standard. it was suspended compliance for yet another three years of pollution. isn't that true that that's with the agreement did? >> it did, extended her. there was actually no enforcement of the .0 37 standard taking place place on arkansas side of the border. the reason he referred to the memorandum of understanding, i actually have the second statement of principles to before me as well, that expired in 2012 -13 type in and asked what presented my office the opportunity to go to arkansas to ensure that the .037 standard would be enforced from a state law perspective on that side of the border that it never taken place in history. you mentioned the epa. there was no enforcement taking place on the phosphorus level by the epa. oklahoma had it as you indicated as a standard but he was not being enforced upstream in arkansas and that's what agreement addressed. >> i don't have the seniority or
a statute or the grandeur of center in knots i can't go over time, but i will say this. in my next round i will go back into this because the documents don't seem consistent at all with what and i would like my next round of questioning to go into a little bit deeper into this historic settlement. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i would introduce for the record an article that appeared in the tulsa world this past january 12, what he 17, going way beyond the 20 years of that panel come of the last slide, but 33 years who served as a agency administrator of the oklahoma scenic rivers commission from september of 1983 until june 2016, 33 years. and his statement in his op-ed that he wrote its i found that pruitt has always been right by our scenic rivers. he has for the first time ever, he has gotten the state of arkansas which happens that
parts of the stream that we designate a scenic rivers in and flowing to their state to agree to oklahoma's scenic rivers phosphorus standard. an incredible environmental accomplishment. the effect of which cannot be understated. senator rounds. >> thank you, mr. chairman. attorney general pruitt, in august 2016 the epa inspector general found that the epa had failed to follow through with its commitment to update its 2010 lifecycle analysis for corn ethanol, and has also failed to perform its legally required comprehensive study on the environmental effects of the rfs, or renewable fuel standards. epa's information lifecycle is inaccurate and it is outdated. did his best available science shows clinic ethanol into gasoline can significantly reduce greenhouse gases. however, the epa has failed to
update its own science with most recent mass size that is available and continuously relies on inaccurate site when setting national policy regulatory biofuels policy. what are your thoughts on the epa rely on outdated inaccurate science to set federal regulatory policy? >> senator, i think it's the obligation of the epa in taking steps, rulemaking and otherwise, to ensure that as the most up-to-date objective scientific data possible. >> let me follow up a little bit. the current epa process for considering the scientific information underpinning major regulations i believe is flawed, and it's unbalanced. for example, the scientific advisory board or the sab is to provide scientific advice to the epa administrator and congress but there is a significant lack of geographic diversity in state
and local and tribal representation on the sab. can you explain what your views are on the agencies size and what you envision as the role of agency science at the epa? >> center to come as you and i talked about in our meeting i think important to have that geographical representation, better represented and that there's some conflict of interest application with the science advisory board that need to be addressed as well. >> the committee which is a standing committee, science and advisory board. >> i have a chart the sorrows of the makeup of the 2015 charter sab. of the 54 members, the majority of them come from east or west coast states. can you get that chart for me, please. i've also got a chart that shows the number of states that a government representative on the sab. how would you brought the geographic scope to make certain states and risk of mental entities are represented?
the one on the left shows the lack of diversity with regard to actual members on the board. the one on the right actually shows that we have a grand total of two states with representation for state and local units of government. spirit if confirmed how it is an issue as i've indicated we talked him into office it's important to address to ensure there is competence that aside is is driving rulemaking that is objective and that it is tethered to the rules adopted by epa pick this is a very important issue than he to be evaluated and discussed. and to ensure the efficacy of the science that occurs at the epa. >> would you commit to us there did make it an effort to sit the science advisory board actually reflects something is with regard to geographic diversity as well as recognizing the important role that local and regional government, state and local governments have indeterminate parleys participating in these boards and commissions?
>> if confirmed i look forward to working with you on that issue. >> let me finish with one other item. we have listened a lot, whether you are working on behalf of industry or whether you're working on behalf of the folks in oklahoma, your role as an administrator with regard to clean air, water and so forth. as the attorney general you represented the interests of your state can both your states economy and your states environment. but just because your pro-economic development and pro-economic development growth 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 to choose between the two. how would you balance economic growth with making certain that we have clean air and clean water? >> i think part of it is inherent in the statute and the process the epa is supposed to conduct. i know that sometimes rulemaking is seen as something that is not
terribly important or something laborious, but the reason rulemaking, the reason congress has said that you take comment is it needed to make sure all voices are heard and tha there's an informed decision that regulators are making before they finalize rules because the impact it has on the economy, on the environment. so rulemaking something we should take seriously and that we should do so consistent with the framework outlined by congress so that all those voices are heard that you are referring to, senator, and the rulemaking process spirit thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. senator markey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. pruitt, earlier today you said that the epa has an important role in regulating carbon dioxide because of the 2007 landmark supreme court ruling in massachusetts a versus epa. the epa administrator for both president bush and president
obama made a decision that carbon pollution poses a danger to america, otherwise known as the endangerment finding. will you promise to keep on the books the scientific finding that carbon pollution poses a danger to the american public health and welfare? >> two things, senator. first with respect to massachusetts, the supreme court said they had to make a decision to determine whether co2 posed a risk. as you indicated, in 2009 they did so. that is the law of the land, those two cases. the obligation of the epa administrator to do his or her job. >> so you keep that scientific findings on the books? >> the endangerment finding is there and needs to be enforced and respected spirit and you will not rebuke that scientific speeders there's nothing that i would know that would rebuke it at this point spirit massachusetts v. epa made it possible for states like
california and massachusetts to set higher standards for the fuel economy of vehicles, using their authority under the clean air act. this is a powerful tool for states to reduce emissions and address global warming. as a direct result of the clean air act authority combined with my 2007 fuel economy law, the obama administration reached a historic agreement with the auto industries support to increase fuel economy standards to 54 point five miles per gallon by 2025. those standards are projected to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by more than 2 million barrels a day, prevent 6 billion tons of carbon pollution, and save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump because their cars will be so much more efficient. those standards are also unleashing a tesla revolution,
clean energy vehicles all across the country. 10,000 people are going to be employed, for example, in nevada in this technology area. you have sent you a state to play a larger role in environmental regulation. in your 2015 testimony before the house science committee you wrote quote, the epa was never intended to be our nation's front-line environmental regulator. the states were to have regulatory primacy. but earlier today you would not commit to maintaining california and massachusetts and other states ability to be regulatory primacy as the leaders of the effort to protect their own state to do what is best for global warming in their own states. so i'm going to ask you again. what you support the statutory right of states to do more to reduce dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming
pollution, save money at the gas pump and create tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of jobs in the clean car jobs business? >> i think in general the answer to that would be yes but an application with the california waiver that was discussed earlier, that's in it a to corey process that can't prejudge what would occur there. as you know previous admissions of either grant or deny that based upon a record that was made. i do respect and you believe states have a very important role. we have acknowledged that today with respect to the chesapeake bay situation as an example. and so i will look at that issue like others to make sure that it's respected and also it is consistent with the statutory framework you've allied. >> do support the law that says a california has a right to ask for a waiver? >> its statutory something the administration has obligation to do so yes, i do respected spirit to support the current california waiver for greenhouse gas standards? >> that's what would be
evaluated and i think it's difficult and we shouldn't prejudge the outcome if confirmed as administered spirit you are current in the dust that you don't think they're entitled in the current waiver? >> the waiver is granted on an annual basis and the administrator would be responsible for making a decision. >> and so you say you're going to review it? >> yes, senator. >> when you say review, i hear undue, you know, the right of the states. and i think to a certain extent it's troublesome because obviously what we have heard all day is how much you support states' rights when it comes to these issues. but now when it comes to the right of california or massachusetts and other states to be able to reduce carbon pollution, you're saying you are going to review that. so my problem really goes to this double standard that is
created, that when you see you from the oklahoma perspective come from the oil and gas industry perspective and you represent oklahoma, you say they have a right to do what they want to do in the state of oklahoma. but when it comes to massachusetts or california, when it comes to the question of those dates wanting to increase their protection for the environment, protect their victimization from carbon pollution, you say there you are going to review. and i think the history of the agency in granting reviews that have been necessary for massachusetts, for california and other states to improve the environment are still valid. the science has not changed. the new clean energy technologies have not changed. the danger to the public from environmental exposure to carbon
pollution has not changed. and so from our perspective, we are fearful of what a review would actually result in. and from my perspective i think it's going to lead to you undoing that -- >> thank you. i'm going to introduce for the record i report from the national energy assistance directors association. these are the state officials who oversee the financial assistance programs for people to heat their homes. the report says when energy prices go up, higher energy price of result in 24% of% of the recipients to go without food for at least a day. 37% go without medical or dental care. 34% did not fill a prescription, fill a prescription, and 19% had someone in their home becomes sick because the house was cold due to increased energy costs. senator ernst. >> thank you, mr. chair.
and again attorney general pruitt, thank you for being here today. i would like to go back to something that a colleague, senator duckworth, mentioned earlier today, and that's the point of obligation. the proposal to change the point of obligation under the rfs is an example of regulatory change that would destabilize the policy environment if adopted. what's interesting with the point of obligation, we have two sides of that normally oppose each other that have actually come together. some both a biofuel producers and the american petroleum institute oppose this change. both groups. and i would like to submit a letter for the record showing the united opposition to moving the point of obligation, mr. jerk him if we could have been entered the record. >> without objection. >> and i would like to revisit this. if you can yes or no, as administered when you oppose changes to the point of obligation?
>> as you and i indicated, as i indicated to my meeting with you and the response of senator duckworth, there is a comic. in process at the va about the point of obligation. i think prejudging outcome of the process at this point is unwise. i can say do as i said to you in the office, any steps that i would take as epa administrator, point of obligation, all these various issues we discussed, the job of the epa administrators to make sure the statute is upheld enforced and that undermined the vitality of the rfs program as defined by congress, dating back to 2005 can instantly be administrator takes needs to be done in such a way to further the objectives of congress in the statute, not undermine the objectives of congress and the statute. >> i do appreciate you being objective and i can share center to duckworth and will look for to continue to educate you on those issues, so thank you very much. i would like to show a chart of
the state of iowa, and i would like to go back to some of senator cardinals comments about who should define with the expanded definition of waters of the u.s. is. so this is a chart of the state of iowa, and as you can see with the expanded definition as provided by the epa, 97% 7% of the state of iowa is now considered waters of the u.s. so if you were in an area like mine, south was iowa here, right down here, i live in a water of the u.s. most of the state is covered by the waters of the u.s., and i bring that up because i in a moment and going to show you another picture of the consequences of the epa defining what a water of the u.s. is.
last caucus this committee examined the scope of the federal clean water act jurisdiction, epa and the corps of engineers claimed today. even without the new wotus will. they are already expanding their jurisdiction using the concepts they codified in wotus. they're just doing it by a case-by-case basis. that jurisdictional claims that are already being made are very troubling. for example, the obama epa told the public that they will not regulate puddles. it will not regulate puddles. however we learned that the court is already regulating puddles by claiming that a puddle in a gravel parking lot is, in quotes, a degraded wetland. a degraded wetland. the obama epa also told farmers not to worry about being regulated because ordinary farming activities have a statutory exemption.
we learned that the corps of engineers and the department of justice have decided that plowing is not an ordinary farming activity. explain that to my dear deceased grandfather and father whose activities in farming include plowing. according to the obama administration come any plowing that pushes soil into furrows is not an except farming activity because the top of plowed furrows can dry out. according to a brief filed by the united states come in quotes, the furl top now serve as small mountain ranges. right there, folks. small mountain ranges. these furloughed tops now provide conditions that are not conducive to growth and development of wetland plant species. they are many uplands, end quote. this is a picture of a small mountain ranges from the
governments expert report. mr. pruitt, will you commit to me that if confirmed epa will work with the court and doj to make sure that federal agencies stop trying to regulate ordinary farming practices? >> yes, senator. >> thank you for that very concise answer. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator ernst. senator duckworth. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. pruitt, i just wanted to come back to this question again, and let me just tell you, i played second base as well. this is, you know, this is a hanging curveball. you cannot just out of a park with a a yes, all right? when you commit, yes or no, to reversing the epa's current interpretation that available infrastructure to limit the requirements to blend of biofuels into our fuel supply given that it runs counter to congressional intent?
>> i will not take any steps to undermine the objectives and statute of the rfs as administered a bba. >> will you commit to opposing any attempts to move the point of obligation from the soybean producers, the corn producers and biofuel manufacturers away from it and towards the blinders? that would be counter to congressional intent. >> that is something as i've indicated there is an open commentary on that very issue, and if confirmed, i would be dealing with the issue and need to respond to the comets that they made as part of the record. it would be unwise to prejudge that outcome. i can say to you that any steps i would take as administered would be in furtherance of rfs and not to undermine the rfs. >> but the comic. has nothing to do with congressional intent. earlier today you said you would abide by congressional intent, congressional intent is to keep that point of obligation with the soy and corn producers in the biofuel manufacturers not to move away from it. regardless of what the open comment.
says so you are saying that you are willing, your answer is no, because you would be open to moving it away from the corn and soybean growers, the farmers towards the blenders if that's what the comic. -- if that is what comes out of the comment period. it would be against congressional intent though. >> senator, i think maybe with respect to congressional intent and the statute, the intent as far as the point of obligation is not addressed in the statute itself. that is a decision and administered has been involved in the process of store but it is been to much discussion the epa has dealt with this issue before. what i'm saying is it's the job to enforce the program, to administer the program, to ensure that the intent of congress as far as rfs is upheld. i will do that. to prejudge the outcome of that particular comment period is something that i can't do and shouldn't at this point. i would need to respond to only after being confirmed and going to the rest of the process.
>> so you are saying that you would be open to moving the point of obligation away from the corn and soybean producers and ethanol manufacturers? if that is what the open comment. says come if that's the result, then you would be open to moving it away from the pharmacy? >> no. i am saying that any actions taken as administrator that would jeopardize and endanger the rfs as intended by congress i would not take. that is different from prejudging outcome in that particular matter speed with the intent of congress is to keep the point of obligation with the producers. spirit that's something i'm not aware of, senator. >> lets move on, i'm very concerned and we will follow up with this in the future. let's go to safe drinking water. i set an oversight, i sat on government oversight committee in the house in a bipartisan manner we explored what happened in flint, michigan.
i was actually flabbergasted earlier today when in response to my colleague senator cardin, whether you believe there's any safe level of lead chile can consider you responded by saying, and i quote scented quote scented gum that is a fun thing i have reviewed are no better i believe there's some concern but i'm not looking good scientific research on that. you are become the epa administrator you are seeking to become the epa administrator and you're not looking to issue of lead in our drinking water supply? i think that that is something special in the aftermath of flint is a series oversight on your part. have you even studied the flint water crisis in preparing for this hearing is to the names mary and susan ring a bell to you? >> the situation in flint as indicated earlier, epa should have acted more expeditiously in responding to flint, and did not. there was indication at the regional level that there were concerns and was not a response. and i think the epa bears
responsibility for what happened in flint and would seek to any future avoid those situations by being more proactive through the regional administrators and states and municipalities in ensuring the quality of our drinking water spigot as epa administrator were you commit to appointing a permanent regional administrator to the midwest region that will be based on chicago that would cover michigan? with issues with the lead in galesburg, illinois, for example, and what you give them the responsibility and that the ability to act proactively so that they can step in when they see that the state is not doing its job in protecting the safe water drinking supply for its citizens? >> the epa, the answer is yes. the epa has emergency order authority to respond to situations like you described and i think the epa should step in in the situations in a very meaningful and spirit that's good is because they did not do it in the case of flint. i'm out of time. >> i would like to introduce for the record an article from the oklahoman by rick green, and to
read it says jd strong director of the state wildlife conservation department says of attorney general pruitt, quote, attorney general pruitt has been a really good partner and ally in making sure we have adequate protections in place for the quality and quantity of water, said strong, who previously led the oklahoma water resources board and was state secretary of the environment. i have never seen it put us in a position where we had to compromise anything to protect the waters of oklahoma. senator boozman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to go through it again. i was the congressman in the district with the arkansas illinois, arkansas oklahoma, illinois river situation. i was invited and special election in 2001 and inherited district this is been going on for about 10 years. in 2001, from that time on until
recently we probably worked on this, it seems like every week. but what happened was in 2003, three, the epa came out and said that the standard was such that by 2013, the river needed to be, have attainment of .037 standard of phosphorus. arkansas worked very hard to come change at all of its treatment plants in that area. that's when the fastest growing areas in the country. again, the ratepayers pay for all that. hauled out chicken litter and all that kind of things and made a dramatic improvement in the attainment. the problem was though, arkansas, and you mentioned, again my good friend senator booker, and he is a good friend can mention a lot about oklahoma this and that. arkansas never agreed to any of that. so they were going forward but they felt like they could not obtain the .037 standard because
the first national river is in arkansas took the buffalo river, and it was not a .037. so we went with good faith, 2010, in 2005 i believe the attorney general in oklahoma sued arkansas. that was, and you can correct me if i'm wrong, on some of these things, but in 2010 that case was all of the stuff was put in place, but the federal judge has never ruled on it. so it was open. we fast-forward, 2013 is arriving, arkansas is still not agreeing to the .037 standard is the appropriate one. so they were squaring off getting ready to sue each other again. and attorney general pruitt, attorney general mcdaniel, a democrat in my state, got together and said hey, let's not
waste a ton of money with lawyers. let's use sites and things like this to figure this out, so they chose a neutral site, the universe which has an excellent water department. they came in and did a study and they came back and said .037 is a standard. right now the state are living with it. it really was, it was a tremendous effort, took a long time and it was a very, very difficult situation. so i applaud you. i want to put in the record a letter from our former attorney general mcdaniel that again outlines of this and was very, very complimentary of the attorney general. >> without objection. >> thank you. let me just quote one of the final paragraphs to recent press accounts regarding these efforts unfairly mischaracterize the work that was done by general pruitt and his team. he was a staunch defender of sound science and good policy,
as appropriate tools to protect the environment of this state. i saw firsthand how general pruitt was able to bridge political divides and manage multiple agency agendas to reach an outcome that was heralded by most credible observers as both positive and historic. and i think again as somebody who was intimately involved in that, more involved in it wanted to be and things that it really was a heroic effort by yourself and the people in arkansas trying to resolve a difficult situation. >> thank you, senator spirit that's really all i have, mr. chairman. >> senator sullivan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general pruitt, i want to focus on, talk earlier about the frustration the american people have with the epa. we talked about anger. senator ernst talked about fear. i believe it extends to a couple of recent underlined that.
what is the agency currently feels it's empowered to regulate literally every nook and cranny of american life, and related to that they seem to have very little respect for the rule of law. so let me touch on those. senator ernst talked about the wotus rule, and literally the epa's claim, the ability to regulate puddles as a state with pre-wotus by the way, 65% of america's wetland in alaska. we have very significant concerns about this. but i wanted to actually address an earlier comment by senator whitehouse where he said that there's nothing in your record that shows that you have the background to help america's fishing industry. well, i couldn't disagree more with senator whitehouse, who's a friend and colleague. my state has a fishing industry, like rhode island's.
it's a little bigger, 60% of all the -- >> considerably bigger spirit thank you. mr. chairman, would you please acknowledge that for the record? [laughter] >> with no objections. >> almost 60% of of all seafood harvested in the united states comes from the waters of alaska and it's considered the best most sustainable best managed fishery in the world. and you know what the number one issue, the top issue of the freshman of alaska is? epa overreach. so let me give you a specific example. this is a regulation, 200 pages, on america's fisherman. the ultimate small business men and women. this actually requires every commercial freshman requires a discharge permit to literally hose off the deck of a ship.
think about that. if you are getting a fish and fish guts or pieces of a fish fall on the deck of your ship and you hose it down, fish back into the water of the oceans, you need a permit. 200 pages. this isn't the kind of thing where the trust between americans and the epa has eroded so much because of these kind of issues. if confirmed, will you work with me and others on this committee to make sure that these kind of regulations are balancing environmental needs with the jobs that are so important? mentioned it as a cost. will you work with us on that and would you care to comment on a regulation like this? fish back into the ocean requiring a permit. congress by the way has extended this twice, meaning tried, the limitation of this, so there's
bipartisan agreement that we need to do something about this overreach. would you care to comment? >> syndicate, i think it's exemplary of a lack of priority. we have 40% of the country is in nonattainment. we have over 1300 -- that need attention to move those areas into remediation and restore those areas for environmental related issues. i think in some respects what you cite is just missed priorities. i try to focus also like that as opposed to focusing on these other areas that really improved tangibly the environment of protections people across the country spirit let me talk about the rule of law and i'm glad you emphasize it as a priority. i believe it's one of the principal reasons why there's such a lack of trust between the american people and epa. but it's not just a republican issue. as a matter fact, there's a number of examples where this is viewed as a bipartisan issue that we need to address. you may have seen with regard to
the clean power plan, laurence tribe, not known as a strong start republican, harvard law professor stated the epa is attempting to exercise lawmaking that belongs to the congress and judicial power that belongs to the federal courts. epa is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta usurping the prerogatives of the states, congress and the federal courts all at once with its clean power plan. then he stated, burning the constitution should not become part of our national energy policy. you have been involved in some of these cases. the clean power plan, the waters of the u.s. in both of these cases courts have stayed the epa's rule. why do you think that the courts have done that, and do you think the rule of law that has been ignored by the epa is something that you need, if confirmed that you work on to regain the trust
between the epa in the american people? >> as i indicated i think at times perhaps those in law and courts, and look at rule of law as academic and technical but it is real. it affects people in very real ways. when you have a disease of any type that acts inconsistent with statutory authority given to them by congress to create the kind of uncertainty you are talking about. people don't know what is expected of them and paralysis happens. rule of law is important to economic development. it's important to send messages of certainty. its importance of people can plan and allocate resources. there are many laws people look at and say i don't really like that. so long as they note, they can plan and allocate resources to comply. i think that's what's important about rule of law spirit as one of the lido litigators on the wotus rule and the clean power plan and the fact that the supreme court and the sixth circuit template stays on those rules, what do you think that indicates the courts view is of
those two rules issued by the epa at this moment? >> its unprecedented for the supreme court to have done what they did. never happen in the history of jurisprudence before the u.s. supreme court. that says a lot. >> thank you, mr. chairman spirit senator moran. >> i would yield to somebody ahead of me if i could have come if he would yield back to me for the next question. >> that would be fine. i have some time i haven't gotten to yet in the second round and we will go shortly to a third round. i wanted to talk a little about the mercury rule that supreme court overturned, overturned the epa's mercury rule, the findings epa did not appropriate to consider the cost of the rule. noting between the time that the rule was issued at the supreme court decision three years past. the epa administrator gina mccarthy was on a television show a couple days before the supreme court made its ruling and said what if the supreme
court says you were wrong? essentially she said the majority of the power plants have already decided and invested in the path, because it's been three years, to achieve compliance with the mercury air toxics standards. in other words, job had gotten a result even though what she had done was sent by the courts to be illegal. i would ask you your thoughts on understatement and do you believe that her statement shows respect for the rule of law? >> senator, this is speculation to a certain degree and one of my favorite philosophers is yogi berra and he says predictions are pretty tough, particularly about the future. so i don't want to be too speculative when you look at the response of the supreme court and the clean power plan, i think largely the reason they acted in an unprecedented way is what you just addressed, mr. chairman, that in response in michigan v. epa case, there was some comments made that it achieved the outcome despite the fact they acted inconsistent within a frame under the law.
i think rule of law something as indicated to senator sullivan is that something that's academic. i think it's meaningful if it inspires confidence in those that are regulated. it gives them assurance that regulators are acting consistent with their authority and allows them to plant and allocate resources to meet the standards and meet the objectives that the congress and regulators established. >> senator moran. >> thank you very much. general, you can see by what i sit on the advice that i haven't been in the senate a terribly long time, but one of my causes upon my arrival in the discussion of how the system works is to try to work with my colleagues to reassert congressional authority. and in my view, there's a number of ways we can do that. one, congress can quit passing huge pieces of legislation and delegating authority agencies and departments. another one that we could pursue and hope we will this year is an appropriations process by which we have the opportunity to
influence decisions made at a far middle protection agency and every other agency and department. one of the things, and we do that by developing a relationship with an agency head, knowing that, and i guess part of that is members of congress need to become, have greater levels of expertise on the subject matter of their jurisdiction. one of the subcommittees i cheer is in the commerce committee, and it has jurisdiction over the national highway safety, traffic safety administration. the environmental protection agency just last week finalized its greenhouse gas standards for light duty cars and trucks for 2022-2025. the law says that it's to coordinate that effort with the national highway traffic safety administration, and that agency is still developing its own process to determine appropriate rules standards. i raise this as an example of
where, once again, to agencies constructed by congress to work together to find a solution or the right answer to an issue ignore the law. i assume you would assure me or members of this committee that the environmental protection agency, to the best of your ability to obey the law. but i also assume you're willing to usher me that when directed by the law to cooperate with other agencies, to have the input of an agency that our subcommittee has jurisdiction over, the person in the senate responsible for these issues, i go to the agency that i had the most influence over and they say welcome epa has already done its thing. i assume we can bring those kind practices to an end? >> absolutely. i think in agency discussion, that collaboration to ensure that there is meaningful discussion review of action takes place. i want to speak generally to your delegation reference
because i do think that is a very important issue that you raise. i think a lot of times what has happened is congress has spoken in very general ways on that, i will not say vague but approaching vagueness in giving carte blanche or substantial authority to agencies without providing the kind of framework that is necessary for them to make their decision. from a separation of powers issue i think it's important to pick i think it's important for congress, article one to access authority and to give the direction to the agencies on how they should conduct their business. senator cardin in his comments and questions earlier about the waters of the united states rule, i think that is a problem presently largely because the definition of waters of the united states in the statute is so vague answer general it creates uncertainty. i think making sure that congress performs its role in the executive branch reform its role in enforcing laws and we tried to do less delegation and
respect separation of powers is very, very important. >> i appreciate your reassurance of how you would conduct if confirmed the agency. it also is reflection upon the need for congress to do its job better, perhaps i guess you would nothing to do with that but for me and my colleagues, we need to be much more precise and clear it legislation and much more likely to deal in smaller bite-size pieces so that too often i think congress is interested, i don't want to be derogatory to any of my colleagues, but too often we look for the headline and resolve the problem and yet we complained about what an agency decisions are and we've given him so much authority they have the ability to make what i would consider, some of us may consider a bad decision. ..
the bill received overwhelming bipartisanship in congress. would you discuss the plans that you might have to implement this legislation and will you commit to and plummeting in a timely matter. >> yes. in response to the allegations this body obligations this body has put timelines before the epa to carry out certain rulemaking. all of those are midterm in 2017. as a matter of the administrator make it a priority.
there are certain things that need to be addressed. i think there are specific actions that can be taken at the rulemaking process that we can here too. >> there was give given on take. the other thing brought up the mind spill in colorado. last friday it announced it has denied all claims for the 1.2 billion dollars in lost income and damages to the businesses in the property suffered by 73 tribes local governments as a result of this bill. the epa and their excuse was the legal interpretation of the federal torts claim act.
the federal claims act does not apply. will you commit that you will review that decision and use whatever authority available to you to help the people that have been harmed by the epa's negligence. >> yes mister chairman. >> i know you did not two minutes and 30 seconds of your time. when you comment are you dried down on the two minutes and 30 seconds are you dried down on the two minutes and 30 seconds i'm now in the third round of questioning. i would reflect that looking back at ep eight nomination hearing processes two rounds first round by five minutes second round two minutes we are now on the third round of five minutes so i think the chairman has tried to listen
to our discussions to make sure that all of the democrats and every member have a chance. >> i want to go back to something that was said by one of our colleagues. and actually visiting states in participating in meetings in the states with respect to the combined power plant. it was sad that west virginia my native state. was not visited. we've heard since then janet is the epa administrative assistant. as you may know. he personally participated in meetings in west virginia so in kentucky, florida texas pennsylvania nevada, washington oregon. and i think nebraska.
i wrote a letter on january the 11th you may recall i wrote a letter to you on december 28 and posed a series of questions to you and ask for your responses by january the ninth i've yet to receive those responses. i wrote a letter to her on january the 11th to the assistant secretary darcy of the department of the army and i wrote because we're getting another hearing in our office a whole list of assertions about the waters of the u.s. here things that we are hearing. that is to ask these questions one of the questions are the epa and the court currently implementing new clean water rule. the assertion was that that
has indeed been happening. is that really the case two days later or three days letter of the agencies are not in lamenting the new clean water rule. the agencies immediately directed those. and instead resume implementing the regulations. that was one of the questions we ask. are they currently pursuing enforcement actions in we got it with the same date. note the agencies are not pursuing any actions pursuant to that. they will not perform this role until it is lifted. we've heard things other whites. will it modify the clean water act.
the response to days later was no the clean water rules makes no changes to normal farming, ranching and forestry exemptions so question number four. someone claimed that they will no longer be able to rely on the clean water act. it insured that the rule will go into effect. the agency is narrowed those exemptions and practice. the answer is surprisingly, the assertion at the agency has narrow applications for farming, ranching and forestry it's untrue. the agencies have taken no steps to reduce this. and we have not observed changes by the way they interpret or implement these. they had reemphasized public place that they are farmers,
ranchers and foresters. i raise this because sometimes what people assert to be true sometimes it's over the internet sometimes it's on television. assertions are made. in this case there is a whole long list of assertions that are made. what the epa is doing with respect to a regulation that was stayed. i would ask for the record mister chairman to be able to submit for the record the questions that we posed to the epa on january 11 in the responses that we have received. >> without objection. >> twenty-three seconds remaining.
>> i would like to look at a chart if you don't mind. this is a report card. can you raise up. it lists 17 counties. how did you have in oklahoma. >> seventy-seven. i was watching his lips were barely moving when you speak. at the same time you had been suing epa on the ozone standard for which data is collected earned an f for not meeting ozone health standards. and then have data on what was made or not made. these are the ones we have information on. seventeen counties from adair to tulsa.
>> my question is what did you do about it. what did you do about it. i really believe there needs to be a tremendous effort made by counties across this country to move it into obtainment. there needs to be great prioritization with local officials at achieving it. my question was what did you do about it. what did you do about it. as indicated in our meeting individually. the primary enforcement response validity with respect to air quality permit is a department of environmental quality. there had been actions taken and they continue to work with
us counties to reach obtainment. we provide general counsel to that general counsel to that is 17 of our our counties got f's i promise you i would do something about it. >> congress recently passed a bipartisan bill as part of the water infrastructure built to allow states to lead limitation and enforcement of the cholesterol. that rule is already in effect and it's important that the apa move quickly on this if you are confirmed are you going to get right on this thing. >> yes. the order with that is.
we know the groups maybe submitting things. they will file lawsuits against the epa. it will enter into a resolution behind closed doors without any public input or participation. these results in a new set of priorities and duties for the epa that achieved the demands and special interest. >> this issue came up earlier. it is a concern because it is a regulation through litigation. anytime that you do that. to use a dissent decree to bypass the regulatory requirements to engage in rule-making is something i think should not occur. >> that's a part that did not come up earlier.
the cost of regulations as you know the supreme court overturned the mercury and air taxi rule. because the epa failed to ignore the fact that the cost was $9.6 billion annually in fact the regulatory issued rules over the past eight years that are very costly for industries according to the crs. when they make an evaluation are much more conservative. they said the clean power plant would be at least five to $8 billion per year. it would not be that much different than the old system that they try to do it through legislation. the new ozone standards the 2015 standards when you hear
this all this money is being spent on complaints cost by her job creators. people that are working for a living and they are hiring people what are your thoughts and what do you think should be the role of the cost of the decision-making quacks of the cost of the decision-making quacks i think it's very important in the supreme court and the courts had recognized that very important factor. i mentioned earlier that the case that we were involved in oklahoma complied and met and satisfied that there were steps taken to the epa adding hundreds of millions of cost to consumers. costs are very important. and we need to make sure that they are considered.
they can't be in certain areas of the statue. in that case is an obligation of the epa to actually engage in a cost-benefit analysis before it made a decision. >> do you think they adequately handle the situation. >> largely i do. it's mostly an application issue there doing its job. thank you very much. presumably it goes without saying that if the epa is in a consider cost to the industry it should also consider benefits from the public on the results of that. >> we had been talking about fundraising done by you for the loo of law defense fund during the time when you are
both a board member and for a full year the chairman of the rule of law defense fund and the fact that we have exactly zero information in this committee about that fundraising we also had zero let me ask you unanimous consent. that he was a member of the board of directors. we also had a meeting agenda from the republican attorney general association during the time when you are executive committee member meeting at the green bar which i will stipulate. a lovely place to go. and the agenda which i would like to take this page of mentions a private meeting with murray energy it mentions
a private meeting with southern company it mentions a private memory with the fuel manufacturers. if you will show the graphic they are the same groups that i've been asking about in terms of your fundraising to for the american manufactures represent a lot of the others. we know nothing about what took place in those meetings. >> i know nothing about how the document got generated do deny that they took place. i don't know about the content of it. because you are on the executive committee that was
information we could get up they were minutes or reports out of those meetings there is a democrat attorney general the kind that you were on the executive committee with the big polluters there is a conference of western attorney general. they take place at each of those. you've had a conversation with the chairman about for you. there is a request to the oklahoma attorney general's office for e-mails between your office and devon energy
and coke industries and americans for prosperity's and murray energy and information that the information that i had is that that open record act request was filed more than 740 days ago more than two years ago in response to it your office has conceded that there are 3,000 responsive documents 3,000 e-mails and other documents between your office and these companies and that in some hundred 40 days exactly zero of those documents had been produced. is that acceptable turnaround on a request and should we not be concerned that your office is not compliant with the request that relates so specifically to so many of these companies are going to
be before you as epa administrator. >> i have a general counsel and administrator in my office that are dedicated to performing or providing responses to open record request i'm not involved in that process. it is handled independently by the administrator. i can't speak to the timeline but i can type our office we go across the state of oklahoma with training and open record laws. >> doesn't it doesn't seem to be sticking very well. i don't know. >> given how many of these groups have important financial interests before the epa do you not think that 3,000 e-mails back and forth between you and your office in them are relevant to potential
conflict of interest as an administrator and should be before us as we consider it. >> the epa has let out a very clear process with respect to covered entities and on particular matters in cases i will follow the advice of the epa career person to make sure. >> can i finish my sentence. the problem with that is if you haven't disclosed any of this information than ethics counsel would have no idea to even look. you can't say nobody can look at whether i did this but by the way there to look at it. it just doesn't add up. >> i would like to point out. i would like to introduce for the record a letter from each of the five members of congress from the state of oklahoma with their steadfast support for scott pruitt.
we're very confident that he will do a superb job. also as a follow-up for the first round of questions there was some dispute about a lawsuit against from the egg firm and who it was filed by. i have here the complaint in the case and it was filed may 182011 and you read it it said in the state of oklahoma by and through attorney general scott pruitt. you filed the suit. this would be submitted to the record as well. >> think you mister chairman. since the ranking member mentioned that he had visited. beseeching you that when you are successfully the administrator into the epa
that you will listen to everybody and come to state that are most directly affected. the associate assistant have made the long list that he have said. the epa announced on september the 30th and they announced where they were going to be going for the listening sessions. they went to new york city. they went to philadelphia. they went to atlanta they went to denver, they went to lenexa kansas they went to san francisco. they went to washington dc. they went to dallas seattle chicago. my state is in the last five years has lost 10,000 jobs not holy because of this but because some of this has a large part i will go back to
my original request that the people that are affected by this environmentally and healthwise are just as important as a people who stand to lose their jobs over this. they are then plunged into poverty. they have hopelessness around in their communities who then become addicted to drugs and other opioids. it's a cascading issue. their lives are just as important. that is my plea on that. last question for me. sorry for interrupting.
blot on the record of the epa and the question of the entire ministration in their approach towards ability with the rule of law versus the epa and a control we will allow that question to be continued. >> not to beat a dead horse but to try. i will say the assistant administrator when she was telling me the only way to go she looked at me and said senator were going to pittsburgh. in any event. it's not in west virginia. my question is you said a lot about states and i agree they should have the privacy it's in the law and that something that particles that. and part of the reason you've you been successful with other attorney general. let's say you have a state where you are an administrator and you deem that that states office of environmental quality just doesn't measure
up. they are not protecting their people's health. they are not enforcing the law. in your judgment in folks that you're working with our not up to the task. and are letting their people down. what avenues of correction would you have at the epa and what would you exercise in that kind of category. i really appreciate the question. they don't perform the obligation that they have. in adopting the plan. or as they adopted they don't take into consideration all of factors. it's very appropriate for the epa to use its authority to implementation plan to take over the jurisdiction and to ensure that the safety and
health is protected i think in many instances this been the first response and set up cooperation and it is absolutely an order at times. >> before you start my clock. i have asked consent to the record. the senator referred to earlier. the manufactured controversy a lot of heat but not light. nothing in the content has an impact.
it is inaccurate. thank you. let me respond. were you listening when i talked about the various publications these are science publications and for the telegraph to say it so worse scandal for our generation is pretty extreme. >> we could have an entire day dedicated to the scientific literature on this. that's why the statement as an
accurate statement. we get to have our own opinions. i also wanted to submit for the record in response when i was thinking about it. the national black chamber of commerce. it's important to know that that organization has been funded by the american petroleum institute. and there is a series of responses that invoke the opposite side of that which certainly speaks takes a very different stance and have endorsed a clean power act. i would also like to submit for the record two articles or statements from the national
congress the whole group of organizations that are very concerned about this nomination. >> i would like to turn to a question that has puzzled me overtime and it's in the context of how many they evaluate i heard one of my colleagues once prevent -- present it this way. if you go to a dr. and they say you have cancer. ninety-seven of them say you've cancer. most people feel like 97 doctors told me i should act. maybe i ought to have the operation. that's really the place where we are in climate science.
the overwhelming weight of the scientific community ways in and says it's very logical. that carbon dioxide you can do in a laboratory you can see the impacts of the ground now. we've impact an impact on the oysters because it's 30% more acidic. that is a scary thing when shellfish had trouble with the shells. this not cold enough to kill them. it's having a huge impact on our forest. three were severed droughts. it is a huge impact on agricultural committee. the streams coming from the snowpacks have been declining
in size and raised in temperature. as an impact on our fishing community. the global warming is taking place is having a huge economic impact. they depend on timber, who depend on fishing. should the citizens seek to address this problem because we are just on the front end. we're talking about models that led to the conversation. we don't need models now with facts on the ground. the fish are migrating on the atlantic coast. these facts on the ground are extraordinarily real. and shouldn't we take a very
serious approach to the urgency of this problem as we see it descending upon us. >> i think the epa there is an obligation to deal with the issue is a pollutant under the clean air act. i think there is a legal obligation presently to respond to the issue through proper regulations. i believe you are technology in that. i'm glad to hear. it is a serious problem the counter balance. you can't transport it. i think the court has spoken a
lot about this issue. when you rank the urgency in which you bring to this dc as something that you wake up every day like the next generation and they will weigh whether or not we acted promptly or is it more i have a legal obligation because of the court decision so i will have to have some folks pay attention to it. >> it's very difficult to prioritize with the threat that they're facing in new york is any less important. as you know. it is a matter of prioritizing those issues. i think it's very important to do so as administrator. those issues. i think it's very important to do so as administrator. i do feel like you don't understand the gravity of the
situation from your response. there is feedback mechanism that is starting to occur at the open blue water. bubbling up. that has incredibly different impact. we are on index accelerated curve as a civil. if they don't get it back together. we are in very deep trouble. the urgency it's something that they will take hold of. attorney general pruitt.
you heard reports of the regional offices who were sending those. pursuant to section 114. they are legally obligated to respond to can cost the company's millions of dollars to collect. whether the response was adequate or not. i requested from the epa of record they had been sent to u.s. companies throughout the various regions. they form the basis of the clean power plant. these are the major regulations that were being imposed.
the response that they received i understand that i'm one of the few risible recipients and i would ask that i would be included as part of the record of the meeting today. it was nothing short of referring me to and link essentially they just simply suggested that they that i google it. not hardly a response that you would expect from any federal agency. with regard to major proposed rules. working as a united states senator i found it nearly impossible to easily access the information i can't imagine the difficulty when they are seeking to get
information from the environmental protection agency. as the epa administrator. the role and what you are seeking do you believe that this is a adequate way to communicate and what are your views on making agency communication more transparent and assessable. >> this is a common theme. as i met with many of you on this committee was expressed to me a concern about the lack of response by the epa in response to inquiries let alone the time response. i think it's very important to listen not only to the voice of the american people but to listen to members of congress and listen to members of this body with respect to the issues that concern them. that something i take very seriously the ranking member have asked the questions in
terms of your role as the attorney general with regard to fracking issues in oklahoma. but also with regard to clear air attainment levels. what you're trying to portray at the time and i i would like you to expand on this even different role you a different role as an attorney general than you would be with the agency within the state who have the director authority. it would be different than that of an attorney general. can you expand a little bit. in terms of your duties with regard to executing the loss that this congress has passed. >> i appreciate the question. the role is to perform an executive role in policy making role.
that is much difference. that was specifically they are the ones that reinforce actions. we provide general counsel to them in that process and it's our responsibility is important to me. i had tried to respect those boundaries in my role. and to stay in my lane as you well. and provide the council. allowing it to enforce.
the science behind the laws that we create. you are not going to make the determination yourself you expect that sound science with that. you would then base the decision on. thank you mister chairman. first of all i just want to say is my first time going through nomination hearings. i think it's important that we note that. i appreciate the number of around you are doing. i really do appreciate him adding to the inquiry people around here know you have a deep respect for the kind of kindness and decency that you represent and the level aspire
they came up with the same points stander. it states oklahoma through the water resource board will propose a rule amendment the date to achieve full compliance and that lists these two codes. if you look at those two codes what they do you know what they are they set the sections by june 30. it is removing the june 30 and that is what is frustrating to me.
you already had it was clear that you are doing to me. you take a binding rule of law and you suspended. for another three years. see that is not the issue. the issue here is not whether they can do that standard. whether arkansas was going to adopt that standard on that side of the border. that was a concern of oklahoma. i will stipulate. i'm running out of time because i agree with you. whether arkansas was going to be able to live up to that standard. and this is what i want to say. assumes you did this historic agreement you basically turn to the epa with the power of
the law and said back off i pull a letter from seth tyson foods that 60s after your historic agreement they are delighted. they write to the epa and say you have give no heard of the agreement to jointly conduct a comprehensive study of concentrations in impacts they are excited the bistate agreement has suspended dates during the terminated agreement.
they believe that what you did is do is give them the epa with the power of the supreme court the power to suspend that power over them. on one hand you say that you file lawsuits oklahoma's leader fiercely fighting for oklahoma you say they are attempting to do things on the other hand in this case you switch suddenly. one point industries believed that they are bound. suddenly you're no longer fighting for oklahoma.
industry did not think they were bound. if the indicated earlier it was unenforceable on the arkansas side of the border. it was negotiated and signed by arkansas. arkansas was party to the investigation. we pointed out to you already. it was bought by the epa and obviously understood by industry that they were bound by that standard your agreement did not extend and stop it. it extended it.
i think as you look at what was achieved between arkansas and oklahoma ed who is been involved in this issues since 1983 trying to enforce and obtain water quality that improved he cited that results in this matter. i'm unaware of the letter that you're at referring to. it was not at all excited about it being enforced on the arkansas side of the border. it's written there in the letter. it seems to me. the thought federalism. but the regulation against the environment. and it's unfortunate to me if you can show me something different in the way that this actually helps to clean up the river quicker i just don't see that at all and the evidence in the facts that i have
before me. you did represent the congressional district and then after that i think all my questions have been answered. i think the thing that they think to understand. the water was not being polluted at that point. arkansas have made tremendous improvements over the years and the discharge in springdale and the major communities are to have grown tremendously during that time they were down very admirable levels.
as i mentioned earlier are most pristine river and i feel like we could do that. oklahoma was happy with all of this stuff. because of that in 2013 as agreement ran out they were prepared to go back to court again this thing had been litigated since the supreme court fighting back in the '90s. and to be honest i'm not happy with the .037. i would challenge to find a river in new jersey that meets that standard and you can't do it. it's a very stringent standard. it wasn't continued. tremendous progress made
everyone agrees with that. and so often with the epa this is so important. we've have them did the water district. they spent a billion dollars doing a great job of cleaning things up. and raising everybody's rates. another billion dollars that everybody agrees with. i'm really not happy at all about that. i think in the industry they were happy in the sense that you have a situation with some banality. the final comments or questions. i don't have any further
questions. i do have some closing comments i do want to push back a little bit about the ranking members comments the overreach by the government. with expanded definition. the ranking member has stated i have no doubt that she was answering those questions she was not making the statement. they came from their core of engineers in the department of justice. now, i know this to be true they are not as implied some obscure website off the internet the comments actually came from the case studies
from this committee september of 2016. these are examples of case studies from all across the united states and i will cite just one that i opened up to. the land owner in color california informing him that this may have resulted in an authorized discharge into regulators opening a case against the land owner. they are being implemented case-by-case. it came as a supply who have been disking this particular site over the past 15 years to sustain grazing conditions for his cattle a practice he believed was normal until he received this notice. that all disking for any purpose into any depth with any potential is a discharge into it represents an
authorized discharge in violation of the clean water act. it was submitted to the committee. laster. this is not made up. it's a very real impact to all americans. i appreciate your stance that if you're confirmed that you will work with those that wish to continue farming normal practices. is not made up. we need everybody to understand they have gone beyond think you very much. think you very much. if i could just respond very briefly. it was not just to the epa it was to the have of the epa and also the assistant secretary
of the army. it is related to both. and the army corps of engineers. i gave them a give them a half dozen or more questions. he is or what we are hearing. they responded to him. >> if i can respond to that. i was going to use the letter as a prop i have not seen a letter from the epa. i had written administrator nearly two years ago on some issues that i wanted address for iowa. she never ever responded to me or my staff. thank you mister chairman. >> you have criticized the obama administration on a number of occasions you just
reiterated your concern. in december many of your cold plaintiff attorney general who are pursuing the epa over that clean power plant sent a letter to president-elect trump urging him to settle their lawsuit related to the clean power plant. that sure sounds like that. to avoid the appearance entering into the clean power plant cases will you commit to recusing yourself from all ongoing litigation that you are involved in. >> weather or by this administration or future administrations is a practice that should not be followed. i believe that the regulation is wrong. the congress has established should be respected i would
mention one case to you. this is what it looks like. will you recuse yourself. of any role in the settling of the cases. not be used by any administration to regulate. i case involving the wildlife. >> are you giving me a guess that you will not settle with these attorney general. i will not engage in a suit and settle practice. when you negotiate with them to reach a settlement such as been recommended by the attorney general who are the plaintiffs in this case.
it is a belief of mine that the use as is a practice that should not be done would you recuse yourself from any involvement in this litigation as it is be decided. the epa at this council the career staff has said that a particular matter and specific case that those will be evaluated at the time. >> honestly mr. pruitt there is no biggest -- bigger case. it goes to the promise that they united states is making to the world. you're going to reduce the greenhouse gases. it just goes to you as an individual saying that since you brought the case with the other attorney general that you will now recuse yourself. since you are in fact the plaintiff and defendant in
this case if you're confirmed i will recuse a career staff you know these individuals they had been there with further counsel and guidance. i know you are you're not going to recuse yourself from these situations. if they get to settle on their terms with the trumpet administration and were sitting there in the middle of the room as it occurs. i may let me go to another subject. this bottle of trump water trump water natural spring water on the label it says pure fresh in free.
if they don't trust what comes out of the tap. they do not had the same luxury. do you agree that the epa plays a critical role in ensuring that all americans regardless of a racial, racial, ethnic or economic backgrounds have a right to clean water free from contaminants. that is great. as a widespread lead contamination supply tragically reminds us they often bear far greater environmental bruits. you told us earlier today that you didn't know if there is any safe level of lead. with scientific experts including the cdc world health organization has concluded that there is no safe level of lead exposure. will you commit to making environmental justice and
immediate priority of the epa if you're confirmed as administrator. >> i think it's a very important role. >> the senator's time is expired . >> senator sullivan. i just had one final question. we talked about some of the challenges that we have the committee has been working on infrastructure issues there is a lot of discussion over last year over flint michigan on clean water and sewer and in my state they have over 30
communities that don't have any clean water and sewer. in terms of the diseases in the living conditions and things like that. i can be very difficult. they established a new program for disadvantaged communities to work on those kind of issues whether in alaska or other parts of the country that literally live in third world conditions in some communities. it would be administered by the epa this new program and i just want to get your commitment to work with us to fully fund that new program to work on the issues. >> i believe sometimes and infrastructure we think roads and bridges i think all of
those are important. i would make that a priority. if confirmed. >> i want to thank all of the members for the respectful way in which the business was conducted today members may also submit written questions. everyone has plenty of opportunity to ask all questions. for the close of business on thursday january 19. >> i thought three rounds was the longest in the history of this. the only other time there were three rounds was christie todd whitman in 2001. and those were three rounds of five minutes each. the chairman of the committee was harry reid. three rounds the witness has been here since 10:00. it's now 430. he's been six and a half hours in three rounds by any
criteria when they were nominated and i have significant numbers of questions barbara boxer limited me to five-minute rounds. we have more than doubled today that amount of time for questioning. >> i'm not saying you been unfair with us. it's been clear to anyone. this is a bit of a novelty. this is just a news. i would invite you to submit those my tomorrow.
those who are perhaps not really satisfied, some others might be, to try to make it continue on and on and on. i would prefer to go ahead. i think we've all had adequate time and be prepared to vote. >> we don't have a vote scheduled for today on dispute we'll have an have an agreement on that so they wouldn't be of vote. i would say if -- >> if that's the case, then we can can find it for the record. written questions. >> any other suggestions? >> mr. chairman, i think you've been there, particularly relevant to the confirmation of gina mccarthy, and i think it's purely within your call to have additional questions be submitted for the record. the opportunity for the witness
to answer all the questions, you will still have to do before his confirmation by relative to any other epa administrator hearing, you have been very generous, very fair, and i think that from the perspective i think that's a very fair outcome can still ask questions, just submit the question for the record. >> can i respond to our call it from alaska i don't know if you remember, a year or two ago there was a joint section of the house and senate committees and round committees, and the witness was gina mccarthy. and i ride four hours into the hearing, and after while i was recognized to ask the question. my first question of gina mccarthy was, you are in it for four hours, and they said audit any collations that haven't asked you wish they had been asked what she i said what? she said i wish i'd been asked if i needed a bathroom break. i don't know if the witness
needs a bathroom break but if you need one for couple minutes we can arrange that. and i will say here's what we are asking for. five minutes, cory booker, sheldon whitehouse, tom cardon, ask your questions and we're done. that's it. can you handle that, mr. pruitt? we are wasting a lot of time otherwise we are just talking about it spirit lets go three minutes each and then we will call it good. you are up. >> mr. kevin? >> senator booker. >> i want to be i do think, you've been favored generous it's too. i appreciate what seems like an accord write a few minutes each. i appreciate that the one thing you did mark which i think should be important is i have no sympathy for the nominee and his interns. i do have for his family behind in hua sent through this and i just want to park for true champions, and i think that's important to note. i thank them for the indulgence. not the nominee but --
>> that is more evidence he cares for the children of oklahoma. >> i would you say many people, more people vote for me because my wife then vote for me and i would suggest for you as well in the case of his nominee. >> i just wanted to touch on two things and then we will wrap up. the first is on your question and you listed an e-mail address with a me.com domain, as your business e-mail. you also have an oag dot okay.gov address. are there other e-mail addresses that you have and are there other e-mail addresses you use for business, other than your me.com and your oag dot okay.gov e-mail addresses? >> i'm sorry, syndicate. in the address is not an business email address that i'm not sure why was designate at such periods. maybe we can correct the filing all that stick there are no
other email addresses if that's your question, senator. >> we have gone through the cases that you list as your environmental cases, and when we take of the cases that were started by your predecessor, and would you take out the cases that are fish kill cases, which as i understand it, formulate matters that is resolved by letter at staff level, you count the fish and you pay the fee. and would you take out the cases which are for those who are not lawyers a private individual who brings an action and then the attorney general can step in and take action over if they want but it's brought in the first instance by a private individual, and then if you take out the cases in which you sued epa, there is virtually nothing left. and in addition to that we have that you close environment of protection unit in oklahoma as a freestanding unit. he told me when we met that you rolled it into your federalism unit, but i was just on the
federalism unit website, and the word environmental doesn't even appear on that. and it appears to be run by the solicitor general and assess over and over again that it is involved in appellate litigation. of course if you bring an action you're not starting at the appellate level. finally, -- >> sinner to come if i may, deputy solicitor general banks was actually employed by the previous attorney general. he has been designated the deputy solicitor general and is responsible for environmental related advice and consent for those agencies. that's a different -- >> that's a different function at the bring an action. i've been an attorney general. i know the difference. the attorney general has an obligation to provide lawyers to give advice to agencies, but you also have the authority to bring criminal actions, if you wish, and yet the authority to bring civil actions if you wish. and if those authorities that i believe have not gotten much
attention. and the last piece of that, you will have a chance response and i'm a short clock, is that there was an oakland environmental crimes task force that your predecessor led, and it describes, and i'll ask to be put in the record come from 1997-2010 the environmental crimes task force in conjunction with vb and other entities conducted 142 criminal investigations involving 86 prosecutions, criminal case of his old individual convictions on one or 10 fellas, 21 misdemeanor misdemeanor counts, corporate convictions on 10, $8 million in fines, 28 years of jail time. put it in the record. is there even, do you even participate in the oklahoma and financial force? >> without objection. >> center, as i've indicated, we worked each day with our department of the financial quality on enforcement along with other agencies. i guess that the met of who takes a credit for the type of enforcement, but those individuals have offered
statements to this body. they are a matter of the record. you've heard the chairman has referred to them that we work diligently with those agencies to enforce appropriately, and i would refer to their statements in response. >> thank you. senator booker. >> thank you very much. so first of all i appreciate you talking about and five mill justice and mentioned we did talk about that and i felt good about your personal commitment that you would pursue that. i just want to go through this last point. i will put together a fact pattern and let you have added an dispute and others at least one point i really want to get what i draw from the facts and you can again have the last word. so what i'm seeing because i put together all the facts, just a pattern, there was a litigation from your predecessor that you declined to conclude when you got in against polluting poultry producers. you have shut down the environment enforcement unit in your office.
i know you don't agree with me on, but i see it you also tempted to suspend oklahoma's water quality standard for three years. at the last fact and he can get the last word, is that it also support a constitutional amendment, question 777 the so-called right to form an minute that would've made it more difficult for the oklahoma state legislature, again, again you talk about federalism. now it's trying to take that the other three okaloosa legislator and local governments to enact their own environmental laws in the future. and this kind of support and i looked all throughout magazines, you are going in support of this clear. here you are in the pro and cons about supporting 777. mostly the border against you in your state. here's one from tulsa world endorsement that said the measure would prevent future state and local regulation on farming and livestock activity unless the state has a compelling state interest, and
very high standard. i'm not the lawyer you are but i know that is a hard one standard to meet. so this is the challenge is that this idea your supporting federalism versus it seems to me a pattern of being on the side of the polluters and even tried to take the teeth out of the state legislators ability to regulate these harmful environmental toxins. i'm happy that this ballot initiative was overwhelming defeat about obama voters but as i sees bennie potentially to this very important position, i just worry about whose side you are going to be on given the fact pattern that i have about big industry, about big pollution, especially as i know billions of animals that we have that are poisoning rivers all over this country. i really just want you to respond to that, and i will say this would be my last word, you will have it. i want to thank you for your indulgence. i know this has been a long day and i want to thank your family as well spirit thank you, senator. there's been some confusion
about the litigation you make reference to several things and if i may respond to a couple. the litigation to which you refer, senator boozman referred to as well. my predecessor did bring an action, approximate 2007 timeframe against the poultry industry and many other defendants in the northern district of oklahoma. that case had been fully litigated, submitted to the court for decision before ever came into office. it was an example of potentially regulation through litigation and i talked about that earlier in response to questions. i had every authority to dismiss that case when i came into office. i did not. that case is still pending today awaiting a federal judges decision. i have taken action to undermine that case. i do nothing but file briefs in support of the court making a decision. that's the point of clearly on litigation. with respect to our office, i say made this an responsive senator whitehouse requests. we met earlier, last week ending asked about budget.
i submitted responsive to the we have almost a $700,000 budget dollars budget that the administrator of our office as a tribute to environmental related activities and seven ftes that associate with that as well. i want to make sure those two items were shared with you in response to your comments. >> you have nothing to respond to on the question 777? >> the state question 777 we are involved and about drafting of those things, and so -- involved, i really was not as far as the actual vote. there was some op-ed and some decisions but i tried to make sure that i didn't get involved in that because of our other obligations in the office. >> senator carper spin and i can submit this with a record? >> without objection spirit thank you. >> mr. pruitt, earlier today i mentioned that i submit a list about 50 questions you shortly after christmas. asked for response by january 9, and i have gotten none.
i asked my staff earlier this month if we gone written responses on those questions as of today, and i understand that we have not. you are going to receive an number of questions for the record from us, democrats and republicans, and i'm anxious to see what your responses are to those questions. but we need your answers and we need good answers. the idea of waiting till, three weeks and that providing anything is just unacceptable. such is to put that out there. i would like to ask the question if i. >> i tried to talk to the chairman about this, with respect to questions you submitted, i was respecting the protocol of the chair in responding to this questions, and committed those questions be answered for the record post veteran and that's what i was directed to do by the chairman. >> based on your earlier statement i just want to clarify something. if confirmed can we have your assurances the epa will continue to regulate mercury emissions from power plants under section 112 of the clean air act and you
will not refer to the states? >> mercury under section 112 is something that epa should deal with and regulate. >> thank you. i came across a quote from you that said, i think you stated the following about an epa rule involving cross state small collision, and the epa rule, threatened the competitive edge oklahoma has enjoyed for years with a low-cost and reliable electric generation to this low-cost energy not on the benefits oklahoma manufacturers but gives our state a considerable recruiting new jobs. the question i would ask, at the peril of those of us who live in states that are downwind from work oklahoma might be, as you lower your energy cost to benefit oklahomans i do want to ask you in the spirit of the cold and will keep in mind what that means for us. keep in what that means for us. because in my state i said earlier on i can shut down my states economy and we still
would be out of compliance with any number of clean air requirements. that was done because of anything we put up and give up because what folks out to the west put up in the air that eventually came down to the end of america's tailpipe. i would i would just as to do that. last, a chart, this an interesting chart, a busy chart. this is a busy chart. it looks to the age of cross-border evolution as you can see with this chart, smog, pollution moves all over the place. i mean all over the place. as i mentioned as delaware's governor i could shut down my state energy come in compliance clean air challenges. it sounds like states were left to do with this very complex problem that we see demonstrated ready. how do states address this pollution, this kind of pollution you see demonstrated here without the assistance of the epa? >> center, as indicated earlier today i believe that as in-depth acrostic air pollution rule to which it is referred is a very, very important authority the
pygmies to exercise the it needs to do so within the processes that have been provided by the statute. it's something that's very important for the epa to perform and execute. >> all right. i have a unanimous consent request to submit for the record, so mr. chairman, a number of letters, concerns about and many letters site opposition to some cases four, of the cases opposition to mr. pruitt nomination. speed up without objection spirit and begin to mr. pruitt, your family, thank you all for joining us today. i just want to say, i could barely see kate his lips moving when you spoke. so i suspect he has a future spirit we will see. thank you, senator spirit attorney general pruitt, i do want to follow what you said. you are instructed by the committee. i have a copy for the record of a genuinely nice letter which was the day you were asked to submit the city to answers for the responsive.
it's a letter from me to the ranking member saying please note that you pw committee does not require nominees to respond to questions in advance of the hearing. and i know you will be responding to the written questions that will be submitted by tomorrow night speech can i just add a short thing? that's a conversation between you and the chairman, i understand that but again which is reiterate you will receive a lot of questions including some that of unanswered. we need your responses. we need your responses and help the chairman will give you a reasonable amount of time to respond to this question because there were quite a few of them. there will not be like multiple-choice answers. they will not be true and false. they will be more complex. thank you. >> i'm going to introduce for the record an article from the economist about mercury and the mercury rule. it's interesting because it says the rulemaking is being made to look more beneficial under barack obama particles to say a casual listener would assume that all these benefits came from reduce mercury.
in fact, reduce mercury explained not of the comported future reduction in deaths, heart attacks and asthma and less than zero point 01% of the monetary benefits. instead, almost all of the benefits came from concomitant reduction in a pollutant that was that the principal target of the mercury rule, namely fine particles and i was a bit at for record as we look at the issues going in the future. i want to thank all the members of the committee for your patience. i certainly want to think of the nominee for his time and his testimony today. the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]