tv EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Delivers Remarks at National League of... CSPAN March 18, 2017 12:42pm-12:59pm EDT
c-span.org, and all the free c-span radio app -- on the free c-span radio app. now, remarks from epa administrator scott pruitt. he delivered the keynote address at the national league of cities conference in washington -- washington, d.c. he was introduced by karen freeman wilson. this is just over 10 minutes.
>> the poll is, in one word , describe how you feel about being an elected official. now, you've got to get your phones out. you have got to type it in. we're going to give you some chance. if you are like me yesterday, i didn't have a chance to answer because i wasn't doing it quick enough . i see honored, i see excited. --looks like honor is humbled. wow. humbled is trying to catch up. i think humbled, honored, sort
of like no and -- neck and neck. honored and humbled is really important because we should be proud of the work that we do. it's also important for us to keep in mind why we got involved in local government in the first place. what motivated you to serve? yesterday, we asked a few of you that very question and here's what you had to say. ♪ >> iran for office -- i ran for wasce for many reasons, one to save my little brother. i went off to college and he was still in hopewell and i was thinking about the future that he would have and i wanted to make sure i was a part of making this a city that would be beneficial for him and one that he would want to stay in. >> for the opportunity to serve
the people and make a difference in our community. >> as a representative and teacher i the children in our school system. unidentified speaker >> i was tired of sitting on the couch yelling at my tv . >> iran for office to help people -- i ran for office to help. >> because i felt that i had a voice that my community hadn't heard in a while. >> i knew that i could do more . >> to make sure we could help people every day. >> i decided, why not me? we've never had anyone under the age of 30. >> sometimes used after have to stop monday morning quarterback and get in the game. ♪ [applause] >> that is right. we all got in the game in our cities. now it's time for us to get in the game in washington. you know, i was thinking about what caused me to get in the game. i actually lost two elections for mayor and decided i wasn't going to run again, it shortly
after i made that decision, i pulled up from bringing my daughter from a party into my house and noticed that there was crime tape wrapped around our backyard. theisked her inside before corner -- coroner van got to our house but it turned out that , someone had been killed right behind our house. i knew then it was time for me to get in the game so that fewer children would stand the peril of seeing that crime tape. [applause] when you go to capitol hill today and tomorrow or when you meet with your representatives back home, i encourage you to remember why you got involved in the first place. that is what drives america forward.
now i am honored to introduce our first speaker. scott pruitt graduated from the university of tulsa college of law. he served for eight years in the oklahoma state senate and in 2010, was elected attorney general of oklahoma. then they called him general. on february 17, united states senate confirmed him as the fourth seat administrator of the environmental protection agency. please welcome the honorable scott pruitt, administrator of the epa. [applause] administrator pruitt: good afternoon. it's a pleasure to be here with you today and i saw the mayor last week at the conference mayor's event in washington, d.c. as well. it's good to be with you. i want to say first and
foremost, i appreciate your leadership. as mayors of your respective cities and towns across the country, you deal with very difficult issues from law enforcement to zoning, trying to find answers for your citizens at the local level. i had that same duty and responsibility as attorney general and today, we deal with similar issues at the national level with respect to the environment and growth in jobs. i just want to commend you for the -- for the leadership you show locally and appreciate your time here today. i look forward to working with you. it's been said that friendship is the heart of partnership and as i think about the role of administrator of the epa and how we should and must work with cities and towns across this country and mayors with respect to environmental policy, it is key that we have a close partnership that i listen and , that we learn together on how to respond to issues you have at the local level because they are unique. it was interesting last week as i spent time with mayors and talked to them about various issues. it is something that the epa needs to spend time in the
regions learning from you so we can tackle these issues. i want to mention four things to you that i think are important from a policy perspective. an objective of my administration and how we can work more closely together around environmental issues in the states and towns across the country. thfirst is a superfund area. i know that you are aware of this, but most americans are not. we have over 1300 superfund sites across the country and some of those sites have been on the national priority list for 30 to 40 years. that is acceptable. we need an attitude, a commitment from the epa working with local officials to achieve remediation so that you can actually benefit your citizens in those communities with jobs and opportunities to repopulate that area from the remediation and superfund status that it currently has. we have already started the process. at the epa, i worked with the land and emergency management office in our office to target and make sure we are working closely with you at the local level to do something about
those 1300 sites and see those sites drop as opposed to increase and stay on the national priority list for 30 to 40 years. the second thing i would share with you as far as objectives and working with officials locally is in the brownfield area. it's been a tremendous success as you know with respect to brownsville across this country. it is important that the epa and us government continue to fund brownfields and fun the superfund sites that i mentioned to ensure that we have success on the backend. [applause] this,f you may not know many of you may not know this but i owned a aaa baseball team , in oklahoma city. the mayor is probably not here today, i saw him last week. that baseball stadium that we leased and managed from oklahoma city was actually a former brownfield project. the area in oklahoma city was a cornerstone to leading to an nba itschise eventually making location -- a permanent home in oklahoma city.
i believe the brown fields program the superfund program is , extremely important that we focus our attention with funding and outcomes to help citizens at the local level. thirdly, and i think that is equally important and i know -- you know this is very key, water infrastructure. when we talk about inastructure as you are on capitol hill today and tomorrow. infrastructure is not roads and bridges. infrastructure is water infrastructure and making sure we are delivering safe water to our citizens and we have grant programs at the epa, $4 billion of our $8 billion budget is focused on grants. i am committed to working with congress and on behalf of the white house to ensure that water infrastructure, grants are effectively used to help you at the local level ensure safe water for your citizens. [applause] in -- an area i think we should celebrate progress and also
recognize there is work to be done as -- is in the area of attainment. the naq look at program, the national ambient air quality standards program, we've achieved i think tremendous success since 1980, we've had a 63% reduction in those criteria pollutants. today, under ozone, the ozone standard that currently exist were presently around 40% of our country , around 122 million people. we need to do better. the focus should be to work with you on assistance, how to improve attainment and not punish you. all too often, federal agencies generally take the first step of punishment as opposed to cooperation and partnership in trying to provide assistance to provide attainment. we want attainment, you want attainment. citizens care about the air they breathe in water they drink, it is important for us as an agency to partner with you to improve attainment beyond 40%.
you have my commitment we will use the resources to work with you in that regard to achieve better outcomes with attainment and see increased, hopefully areas of attainment across the , country so we can have permitting and jobs and communities celebrating that progress. i would say lastly, this attitude we've seen the last several years that we cannot pro-growth and proenvironment is something that we need to embrace, a progrowth, pro-environment, pro-natural resources approach. we made great progress since 1970. we need to work diligently to grow jobs at the local level , be good stewards of our air and water at the same time. i know you care about that and focus on that for your citizens. i want you to know you have a partner at the epa that will work with you in that regard. [applause] thank you. i praise the next couple of days that you have, wonderful discussions with those folks on capitol hill. it is very important that they
recognize, with respect to infrastructure, that we do approach this discussion with a new broad line view beyond roads and bridges. those things are important. water infrastructure is equally important and i think -- i look forward to working with you. welcome to washington, d.c. thank you very much. [applause] thanks, mayor. announcer: on this week's newsmakers, the chair of the house freedom caucus, mark meadows will talk about his thep's opposition to current gop plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act watch it sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. next week, the house intelligence committee will look into allegations of russian influence in the 2016 elections and fbi director james comey
will testify. you can watch that live starting at 10:00 a.m. monday morning over on c-span 3. this monday, the president's pic to be the next supreme court justice, judge neil gorsuch will begin the confirmation process beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern. the senate judiciary committee will hear opening statements with questioning of the nominee himself slated for tuesday. you can watch as the hearing gets underway on monday at 11:00 a.m. on c-span 2. >> tonight at 8:15 eastern on ali malik talks about the lives and struggles of the people talking -- living in her grandmother's apartment building in "the home that was our country." >> people in syria were the optimist, but most people after 40 years of really super brutal regime were pretty nervous about what was to come.
>> on sunday at 7:00 p.m., sridharclinton and devi discuss their book. 30 view hon the new bank versus new institutions or what are more colloquially known as public-private partnership. dominate howrs funding is globally -- is dictated in global health. booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. democratic leader chuck schumer talks about supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. he spoke on the senate floor last week. this is about five minutes. senate week, the judiciary committee will begin hearings on president trump's nominee to the supreme court,
judge neil gorsuch. as i have said before, we in the senate have a special responsibility to judge whether or not this nominee, judge gorsuch, will tip the scales on the court in favor of big business and powerful special interests over average americans. the court has steadily been moving in that direction under justice roberts. my colleague, sheldon whitehouse, and the ranking member of the judiciary committee, senator feinstein 54 cases thatd in the court over the last decade has him was always tilted in the favor of the powerful and against those who are average americans. in fact, the court under justice roberts has been judged the most pro-corporate court since world war ii. in this country can ill afford another justice who will side with the powerful. judge gorsuch may act like a studied, neutral judge, but his record suggests he actually has
a right wing, pro-corporate special interest agenda and in today's new york times, this morning, we learned that judge gorsuch's career has been nurtured by a far right billionaire and corporate titan, who has gone out of his way to causes,d right judicial including the federalist society and the heritage foundation. president trump outsourced his choice of supreme court nominees to these organizations and they recommended judge gorsuch. neil gorsuch represented mr. -- his firm as a young lawyer. he earned his favor and patronage ever since. it was his top lawyer, someone who represented him here in -- on the hill who lobbied for gorsuch to get the spot on the federal appeals court and judge gorsuch has been partners