tv Republican Natl Lawyers Association Conference - EPA Admin. Scott Pruitt CSPAN April 27, 2018 10:22pm-10:51pm EDT
deregulation agenda and rulemaking priorities. this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm the first vice president of this organization and it's my privilege to welcome and introduce scott pruitt, the administrator of the environmental protection agency and this year's recipient of the jedwin mees award. age a great fan of yours. you have advanced the president's agents tremendously. wow have brought the epa the fundamental principles of good
governance, implementing due process in the rulemaking, forcedded a here's by the agency to the rule of law and incorporated cooperative federalism to the process. frankly we expected general mees to personally give you the award. he is a great admirer of yours, unfortunately he could not be with us today so i'm honored to hand you the award on behalf of the rnla. >> thank you so much. >> it's an honor to sever receive an award named after jedwin mees. he is someone i have long admired. he was meaningful help to me is a served as attorney general in oklahoma around several pieces of litigation we advanced that were very important to states
rights and federalism principles. he has just been a wonderful person and part nor me in my professional journey, but beyond that, tremendous person and a friend, and as president reagan said, if general meese is not a good man, there are no good men left in washington, dc and ed meese has been a tremendous leader in our space and i appreciate revving this and thank you very much. >> hi couldn't be here but wanted us to read his letter. to the honorable scott pruitt, administrator, environmental protection agency. dear scott, it is a pleasure for me to join your friends and colleagues in congratulating you on receiving the edwin meese aired from the rnla. i'm honored with you as this year's recipient. it's a very appropriate tribute to your dedicates years of public service and professional
success. tour your years in oklahoma you served your felling he citizens an outstanding attorney general and a member hover at the state not and now serve the entire nation on the president's cabinet and as administrator of the environmental protection agency. in all these capacities you have distinguished yourself by your commitment to constitutional governance and the rule of law. in your current position, as the head of app you have he windshield to protect the environment while preserving the liberties of our people. as lawyer, and as a public official you have both gyp held the highest qualities of profession. i extend my commendation and best wishes for continued success in your important tasks. sincerely, edwin mees iii. >> what a blessing, thank you. >> we received some questions
from our membership that i'd like to pose to you and just have you opine on your successes. at epa. the focus of the conversation is the rule of law in the trump administration. one of your main priorities has been to restore the rule of law at the epa. how did the obama epa disregard the rule of law and what actions have you taken to correct what they did or did not do. >> during the last administration, not just at the epa but in multiple agencies there was a feeling, if you will, commitment to pinch-hitting. where congress had not acted and we saw that very acutely within the epa. a couple of examples that come to mind, the 2015 rule adopted that private new definition to a water of the united states. was stretched so far that it was really not recognizable to those that passed the clean water act when you include a dry creek bed
and a puddle as a water of the united states. that is quite remarkable in light of what the intent and purpose and the language of the clean water eights intended to achieve. that's one example. the clean power plan is another. think about the interpretation of best systems of the emission rox under section 111 being the power of the federal government to coerce utility companies across the country to shift from fossil fuel generation of electricity to renewables. that is something that had never been done prior and it's obviously not within the text of the statute. a very generous reared what the best mission of emission equals but what drove those decisions was frankly this at todd from an executive branch perspective in the past administration that they couldn't wait on congress and couldn't get direction from congress on the clean air act, last amended in 1990. 28 years ago so to make progress policy objectives they had, they advanced these types of rules that the court ultimately stepped. in the clean power plan is
stayed by the u.s. supreme court and that never happened in the text of that case. a lower court case being litigated. the u.s. supreme court enter very vaccines and issued a stay. that never occurred before. the sixth circuit stayed the waters of the united states rule and that case was resolved by the u.s. supreme court. so those are just couple of examples that i would share with you but that was an attitude, as i came into the agency, my first day on the job i spent time with our agency and i emphasized rule of law, that at the only authority we possess in the executive branch to act on rulemaking is through the power that congress gives us and if congress has not spoken clearly we cannot make it up for them and that's i. and i also talk about process and federalism. prims that should govern how we do business and rule of law is number one. that it leads to certainty and
those in the marketplace deserve certainty. we think of rule of law as just being academic or legal but it has a very practical effect on those that we regulate. if you have a statute, clean water act, cleaner air act, what. the indicate may be, the statute says one thing, and a regulation is untethered to the statute, if you're the regulating community, what do you respond to? the rule or the snot and that kind of -- or the snot statute? and that drove the market playing. we're making process. he regulatory reform agenda is not just to address those rules and quote taus but to provide replacement. a replacement rule coming out next month with respect to wears of the united states rule. ...
>> to withdraw a rule or resend the rule to take steps is arduous but not impossible. that is addressed to jurisdictional information. that statute is in question. >> that can actually be accelerated. but with durability you cannot guarantee that. you just have to deal with the process and what rules bear out. we know that provide some measure of certainty.
but we try to do is remedy those abuses from before without approach if you will to the rule of law to give meaning of life with the steps we are taking now. >> so what will be different now? >> this was unique to the epa where the third party would sue the government and then go into a settlement discussion to engage that is rule-making. with those steps required under rule-making so basically it was rule-making regulation through litigation celestial
reissued a memo to our agency on a day-to-day basis as far as being sued by a third party to engage that is worn by others into given example, we have certain actions with the states sought to intervene in the case with the direct impact on what they may be preparing and then entered into settlement. that is just fundamentally flawed in my estimation not to say don't have a dissent decree but and with that
process so we have instituted procedures at the office last year through a memo to says then we will publish it. and we will encourage states and to make sure that this truly is about the party of litigation as opposed to what? a rule of applicability we could do better than the clean air act or other statutory frameworks engaged in the settlement. so that is reflective of our commitment with epa and how we do business at the agency. it is an ongoing discussion
obviously in one of the most difficult things i have to deal with of what upon the agency that is based upon the process i am describing this will be helpful going forward. >> you have been extremely busy so can you explain those action actions? >> actually administration wide leading an effort of regulatory cost was a little over a year. yay pa itself with that agenda we have been about but we have
some of that it is regulatory certainty and reform. with those issues but to take steps to remedy the previous rule and as i indicated provide a replacement to achieve regulatory benefits. with that framework consistent with the statute. that i have known across the country with a long period of time what has been wrong so what do we do?
with the findings. they don't publish the data or review. to hand the results and today. with the problematic office if we do rule-making with that methodology. but up until now that didn't take place that is actually not consistent whole purpose of the epa and then to allow citizens across the country what if all you have is the conclusion from the analysis?
>> and with that previous administration is that so important to help run the agency? >> you think of the implementation in the state with many delegated programs of the clean water act we are working in active partnership, or should be to achieve environmental outcomes defined under statute. there were 700 states prepared to use state resources to improve air quality. and not acted upon.
the time that i have been serving even for state to say to improve air quality issues that you face in utah or the west coast and use your resources to give concrete plans. and that is the disincentive on air quality so obviously that is statutory. under the clean air act it is what i would consider privacy innocent health based at all. the clean water act is substantial we need to be an active practical state on a day-to-day basis to achieve
those good outcomes over 30 states with the dnr and to advance these principles we see progress and that process with the designation. i am very encouraged in that regard. >> to protect the environment? >> i actually think we are the best in the world with the balance between being good environmental stewards. so under the clean air act
with ozone and the rest by over 65%. while growing gdp in substantial ways we made under for progress so when you compare us to others across the grove -- the globe to understand what we say that is an attitude historically. we have been under assault the last few years told we have to choose that your environmentalism is prohibition that is what we should use i don't think that's wrong. [applause]
where we have been as a country is we have an obligation to use those resources that we have with those stewardship principles. that is what needs to occur at the agency. >> this is the last question what are your goals of the epa over the next year? >> looking at the conclusion of some of these rules to anticipate to redefining to come out and to finalize our approach so they have that culmination of the rulemaking process but also the process
structurally at the agency when i came in i asked how long does it take to go to the permit process? and to evaluate that. so now we make it permanent within six months. and to never set that objective. so receive that change. we don't just collect data for the sake of collecting it but shouldn't this go to any industry or sector?
should be used for a purpose. look at cause and effect permit so we are actually advancing objectives and water quality. at the same time to provide regulatory certainty. if we do that effectively it is good for the environment, the economy in the people. >> mr. and mr. thank you for joining us. [applause] i now adjourn the policy conference. [inaudible conversations]
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