tv EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at Faith Freedom Coalition Conference -... CSPAN June 8, 2018 8:00pm-8:16pm EDT
or breaking faith with the new testament, the gospels, jesus christ. >> q&a sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> coming up on c-span 2, today's speeches from faith and freedom coalition conference. and later, a look at the fiscal solvency of the social security trust fund. >> each year the faith and freedom coalition holds a three-day conference in washington, d.c., where attendees hear from conservative politicians and speakers. on its second day, convention goers heard from senator david perdue of georgia, senate majority leader mcconnell, transportation secretary elaine chao, israeli ambassador, and housing and urban development secretary ben carson. we begin with remarks from epa administrator scott pruitt.
>> thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is good to be back at faith and freedom. i really appreciate the kind words and all that he does to advance religious liberty and all that you do. we saw how important that was this week with jack phillips and the great victory that took place at the u.s. supreme court this week that protected the free exercise of the christian baker in colorado. we should celebrate that this week. [applause] >> and understand that it makes a difference. you know, several years ago, i had the pleasure of traveling with my church to romania. it was on nations trip -- it was on a missions trip. first time i had taken a trip abroad. i went to romania, where the revolution occurred in that country. i was visiting with a pastor in romania and going through the church that existed during the 1950s and 1960s. he showed me up on the wall all the pictures of the pastors. as i saw that picture, as i was
there with that pastor -- >> you know what's interesting about this type of discussion is here we are talking about free speech, religious liberty, and folks won't let you engage in it. i mean the left doesn't want to talk about truth. the left doesn't want to talk about results. they just want to shout. they just want to try to intimidate as opposed to talk about what's being done in this administration. there's great change happening across the country. [applause] >> as i was sharing with you, as i was sharing with you, as i toured that church in romania, with that pastor, i asked him about those pictures that were up on the wall from the 50s and 60s and i said did you all meet
during that time frame? he said yes we met every week. as we met in this house of worship, there was someone always in attendance from the government. and they listened to everything that we said. if we took outside the four walls of this church what we learned inside the four walls of this church, we are persecuted and prosecuted. i will tell you there are some in this country today that look at the issue of religious liberty, they look at the issue of free exercise of religion in the same way, they believe we have a right to exercise our religious beliefs within the four walls of the church. but when we actually go out in the public square, when we advance truth, when we actually confront the culture with the truth of scripture, outside the four walls of the church, then that's where they say it has to stop. thank goodness that we have a president. thank goodness that we have a leader of this country who stands unapologetically for religious liberty. who is willing to put folks on the supreme court like justice gorsuch to say we are going to stand for free exercise of religion and the 1st amendment of the united states of this
country. [applause] >> i will tell you that type of courage is why the president is in the white house today. i really believe he's in the white house primarily for two reasons today: because of great courage and about getting results. and there's great change happening in this country today because of his leadership. there's great change happening at the epa. and with great change comes great opposition. but i want to tell you about what's been going on at the epa for the last 16 or so months. the changes that we're making are truly transforming how we're doing business as a country for the better. everyone knows about regulatory reform. it was desperately needed because we had an agency under the previous administration that was weaponized against certain sectors of our economy. when you have an agency and a president of the past administration that declares a war on a certain sector of your economy, a war on coal, think about that for a second. i was the first administrator in
history to go underground in a coal mine in pennsylvania after a month or so of being sworn in. i went 1100 feet down and 3 miles in. i'm a little claustrophobic. you should have seen the emotion on their faces and know that they can do what they have done for generations, provide power and generation to this country and provide it in a cost effective way. the war on coal and fossil fuel is over. as ralph indicated the president stood a year ago this past friday, on june 1st, and declared that america was going to exit the paris accord because it didn't put america first. that is a decision that took tremendous courage, tremendous
fortitude. the president stood against that. and guess what's happened? the economy is growing and the environment is improving. the president's leadership was substantial there. we should celebrate that. [applause] >> just one little fact, from 2000, 2014, this country, this country reduced our carbon footprint by almost 20% through innovation and technology. and we did that leading the world. we had nothing to be apologetic about in going to paris. this country is leading the way in making sure that the environment is protected, but also we are seeing jobs and growth. we have always done it that way. and the president recognized that and said we're going to put america first, not last. we're not going to be apologetic. we're going to exit that paris accord and make sure that jobs are protected, that the environment is advanced. he did a great job in that decision. as we see his leadership at america first, it is not just with respect to environmental issues. we see it with tax reform, trade policy, national security. we are safer today and we are
more prosperous today because the president's leadership on issues that put america first. i hope you recognize and celebrate that this week. [applause] >> not only does the president put america first and not only we at the agency are seeking to make change and as we make decisions and regulations, that we don't pick winners and losers, but we are restoring balance e between government and its citizens. the past administration began with washington. this administration begins with the individual. this administration recognizes that private property ownership in the states matter, and that they care about air quality and water quality. and that we can advance this jobs agenda at the same time that we improve the environment by engaging in partnerships as opposed to adversity. let me give you a couple examples. the previous administration
passed a rule. you probably know about it a little bit. 2015, they adopted this rule redefining what a water of the united states is. and they did that not to improve air quality. they did it because they wanted to make decisions about land use all over this country. that declared that puddles and dry creek beds and drainage ditches across the country, were waters of the united states so farmers and ranchers and those engaged in oil and gas and those in subdivisions the first place they have to get permission to use their land is washington, d.c. as opposed to making a decision in whatever state that might be. last year i was in utah in salt lake city utah i was standing outside of a subdivision that was being built. i was with a governor and member of army corps of engineers i remember the representative pointing to a drainage ditch as part of the subdivision and he said scott, that drainage ditch is a water of the united states. and i looked back at him and i said well it's not going to be anymore. i will tell you that that kind
of decision on the past administration put washington first and american citizens second. it didn't put the people of this country first in that regard. this president has made a commitment. in fact on february 28th of last year, he signed an executive order directing me to fix that. and we are fixing that right now, and this year there's going to be a new definition -- [applause] >> there's going to be a new definition of a water of the united states is. guess what it is not going to be? a drainage ditch that makes up a subdivision. we also saw that with the clean power plan. this so called clean power plan where the previous administration used regulatory power to try to do what? shut down power generation in the country with respect to fossil fuels and to cause a generation shift of how we generate electricity. and guess who stepped in? the supreme court. never been done in history for the supreme court to enter a stay against a rule while it was pending in a lower court level but the supreme court did that because of the very much
unlikelihood that it was lawful in what they did. the president also directed me scott fix that rule. guess what's going to happen in 2018? that clean power plant is going to go away and we're going to have clarity across the country on what authority this agency has to regulate in that space. and make sure that we don't pick winners and losers anymore. [applause] >> so whether it is fixing the clean power plan, these are examples of us choosing to make sure that regulatory authority once again is not used to pick winners and losers. and that we recognize that farmers and ranchers in iowa, farmers and ranchers in mississippi, those who engage in productivity and jobs across this country, they want to have clean air and clean water, and we're going to work with them to achieve that. here's a news flash. air quality is better in this country since the trump administration came into play. 10% better on ozone under this administration. we have super fund sites so sites across the country that we clean up, this year we will see
as many as 10 times the number of sites cleaned up under this administration than what existed with the obama administration in one year. we are making progress. [applause] >> at the same time -- [applause] >> at the same time that regulations are being decreased. now let me say this to you, there are many here in washington, d.c. that tell you and tell folks that we have to choose between jobs and protecting the environment. that is a false choice. this country has never done that. since 19 -- since the 1970s when the clean water act and clean air act were adopted, we have seen almost a 75% reduction in air pollution under the clean air act at the same time that we've grown our gdp of almost 270 plus percent. this country does it better than anybody in the world at advancing jobs the economy and protecting our environment. you know why? because you care. because of private property ownership because of people saying we can do both and this president, this administration
and my leadership at the epa, we're not going to engage in a false choice to say that we cannot be about jobs at the same time that we're advancing the environment. we're going to choose both. and things are happening across this country. there's optimism. i have been to almost 35 plus states across the country. i will tell you farmers and ranchers, oil and gas, people building as i indicated building subdivisions, private property owners, as well as those that care about all these issues air, water land quality they are excited and optimistic about what's happening. we should celebrate that as a nation and we should export to the rest of the world and not be apologetic about that. it is an exciting time. [applause] >> as we do these things, putting america first, as we do these things, about regulatory reform and restoring better outcomes with respect to the environment, i will tell you, it comes with tremendous challenges. because there is a status quo that dominates this town.
there is a mindset that things shouldn't change. i mean under the past administration, the most prosperous, the most beneficial place to be was what? in washington, d.c. government grew. this administration's putting power back with the people. and we're seeing that kind of change. with that tremendous change comes tremendous i believe challenge and i will say to you, as you gather here today, and as you go about your respected states, we have to recognize what is at issue. this is a transformational time. there are certain times in history that when you live in them you recognize that what's happening is going to affect generations in the future. this someoneover those times -- this is one of those times. this is reminiscent of the 80s when reagan was in office saying we can do better for the american people. we must embrace, we must advance, we must make change to ensure that future generations recognize that we can achieve better outcomes for the environment and also jobs and not engage in this false choice. we've got to take that message across the country. i would say this to you, and i
would ask your help in this regard, we as an american people need to ask and answer the question, what is true environmentalism? because there have been those in this town for the last decade or so that have told us that the answer to that question is prohibition, that though we have all these natural resources we've been blessed with, we should put up fences and do not touch. now i believe to whom much is given much is required. and i believe this nation has been blessed with enormous natural resources. and we have an obligation to feed the world, and we have an obligation to power the world. god has given us those resources and we should do what with them? use them for the betterment of mankind and also do so with stewardship mentality going forward. i would submit to you that true environmentalism is not prohibition. true environmentalism is stewardship. and we as an american people do it better than anybody in the world in that regard. we need to embrace that message advance that message and ensure that this country doesn't revert
back to the false choices, the regulatory power of agencies picking winners and losers, saying to you and me that we have to choose between the jobs and environment. we must choose a better path. the american people deserve a better future in that regard and this president is leading that effort and i ask for your help. he asked for your help to advance that all over the country. to ensure that as we make these changes during this key time, that future generations recognize that this country is a blessed country. and this country has an opportunity to be a beacon to the rest of the world. i appreciate what you do. [applause] >>.