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  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at Faith Freedom Coalition Conference -...  CSPAN  June 8, 2018 4:49pm-5:05pm EDT

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administrator scott pruitt who talked about some of the changes taking place at his agency and how it's balancing economic factors with protecting the environment but he made no comments about recent allegations against him of improper spending or ethics violations. >> thank you. it's good to be back at faith and freedom. i appreciate ralph's kind words and all that he does to advance religious liberty and all you do we saw how important that was this week with jack phillips and the great victory at the u.s. supreme court that proteched the free exercise of the christian baker in colorado. we should celebrate that this week. [applause] and understand that it makes a difference. several years ago, i had the pleasure of traveling with my church to romania on a mission trip. the first time i'd take an trip abroad. i went to romania, particularly
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to with the revolution occurred in that country. i was visiting with a pastor in romania and going through his church that existed during the 1950's and 1960's. and he showed me up on the wall all the pictures of pass tors. and as i saw that picture, as i as there with that pastor -- [audience booing] mr. pruitt: what's interesting about this type of discussion, we're talking about free speech, religious liberty and folks willing to engage in it this west doesn't want to talk about results. they just want to shout, they
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want to try to intimidate as oppose tad talk about what's being done in this administration. there's great things happening across the country. 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 1950's and 1960's. i said did you all meet in that time frame? he said yes, we met every week. but if we met in this house of worship there was someone always in attendance from the government and listened to everything we said. if we took outside the four walls of this church what we learned inside the four walls of this church we were persecuted and prosecuted. i will tell you there are some in this country today who look at the issue of religious liberty, look at the issue of free exercise of religion the same way. they believe that 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 and advance truth, when we confront the culture with the truth of scripture outside
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the four walls of the church that's where they say it has to stop. thank goodness we have a president, thank goodness we have a leader of this country who stands on the -- unapologetically for real jus liberty, who is willing to put on the supreme court folks like justice gorsuch who say we're going to stand for free exercise of religion and the first amendment rights of the united states in this country. [applause] and i will tell you that type of courage is why the president is in the white house today. i believe he's in the white house for two reasons today. because of great courage, and getting results. and there's great change happening in this country today because of his leadership and there's great change happening at the e.p.a. and with gate change comes great opposition. i'll tell you about what's been going on at the e.p.a. the last 16 or so months. the changes we are making are transforms how we're doing business for the country for the better. everyone knows about regulatory
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reform. it was desperately needed. 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 in the past administration that declares 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 unders ground in a coal mine in pennsylvania about a month or so after being sworn in. i went 1,100 feet down and three miles in. i'm a little claustrophobic. it's a tremendous experience. i'll never forget standing underground with about 30 coal miners and telling them that the president had a message for them and that the president's message to them was the war on coal is over. you should have seen -- [applause] you should have seen the emotion in their faces, the joy of knowing that they could go to work in pennsylvania and ohio and all parts of the country and do what they'd done for generations, provide power and generation in this country,
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providing in it a cost effective way a war on coal and fossil fuel is over. as ralph indicated, the president stood a year ago this past friday, on june 1, 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. guess guess what's happened? the economy is growing and the environment is improving. the president's leadership is substantial there. we should celebrate that. [applause] one little fact for you. one little fact from 2000 to 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 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've always done it that way. and the president recognized
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that and said we're going to put america first, not last. we're not going to be apologetic. we're going to exit the paris accord and make sure jobs are proteched and environment is advanced. he did a great job with that decision. as we see his leadership in america first, it's not just with respect to environmental issues. we see it with tax reform, trade policy, national security. we are safer today and more prosspouse produces today because the leadership -- president's leadership on issues that put america first. i hope you recognize and celebrate that this week. [applause] not only did the president put america first, not only we at the agency are seeking change and making sure we make decisions by making sure we don't pick winners an losers as we make decisions and regulations, but secondly we are engaged in restoring balance between government and its citizens. the past administration began with washington. this administration begins with individuals. this administration recognizes
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that private property ownership in the state matters and they care about care quality and water quality. and we can advance this jobs agenda at the same time we improve the environment by engaging in partnership and -- as opposed to adversity. let me give you examples. the previous administration passed a rule called the waters of the united states rule. you probably know about it a little bit. 2015, they continued this waters thief united states rule. redefining what a water of the united states is. they did that not to improve air quality. they did it because they wanted to make decisions about land use all over this country. they declared that puddles and dry creek beds and drainage issues across the country were watts of the united states so farmers an ranchers and those engainled in oil and gas and those building swub subdivisions, the first place they have to stop to get permission to use the land was washington, d.c. as opposed to making a decision in whaufer state that might be. last year i was in utah, sthrakse, utah, standing outside a subdivision that was
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being built. i was with the governor and a member of the army corps of engineers. i remember the army corps of engineers pointing to a drainage ditch for 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 it's not going to be anymore. i will tell you that that kind of decision on the -- by 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. on february 28 of last year he signed an executive order directing me to fix that. 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 what a water of the united states is and guess what it's not going to be? a drainage ditch for a subdivision. we also have clean power plan, where the pleeves administration used regulatory power to try to do what?
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shut down power generation in this country with respect to fossil fuels. and to cause a generation shift of how we generate electricity and guess who stepped? the supreme court. had never been done in history for the supreme court to enter a stay against the rule pending that the local level but the supreme court did that because of the very much unlikelihood it was lawful what they did. the president also has directed me, scott, fix that rule. guess what's happening in 2018? that clean power plan will go away and swreelclearity across the country on what authority this agency has to regulate in that space and make sure we don't pick winners and losers anymore. watts of it's fixing the u.s. or the clean power plan, cheese are us choosing to make sure regulatory authority is not used to pick winners an losers and we recognize that
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farmers an ranchers in iowa and mississippi, those who engage in productivity and jobs across the 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 bet for the this country since the trump administration came. in we have superfund sites 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] t the same time that regulations are being decreased. let me say this to you. there are many near washington, d.c. that tell you and tell folks all over the country that we have to choose between jobs and protecting the environment. that is a false chiss. this -- false choice. this country has never done that. since the 1970's when the clean water act and clean air act were adopted, we've seen almost a 75% reduction in air pollution under the clean air
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act, at the same time we've grown our g.d.p. by almost 270-plus percent. this couldn't di-- country does it better than anybody else in the world in advancing jobs an the environment. you know why? because you care. private property ownership. people saying we can do both. this president, this administration and my leadership at the e.p.a., we're not going to engage in a false choice. to say we cannot be about jobs at the same time we advance the environment. we're going there is optimism. i have been to 35-plus states. farmers and ranchers, oil and gas, building subdivision, private property owners as well as those who care about those issues, air land and air quality, they are optimistic. and that is something we should celebrate as a nation and export to the rest of the world and not be apologetic about that.
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it's an exciting time. [applause] administrator pruitt: as we do these things of putting first, s we do these things about regulatory reform, i will tell you it comes with tremendous challenges because there is a status quo that dominates this town. there is a mind set that things shouldn't change. the past administration, the most prosperous and the most beneficial place to be was where? government groups. this administration is putting power back to the people and seeing that kind of change. with that tremendous change comes tremendous challenges. and i will say to you as you gather here today and go to your respective states, we have to recognize what is at issue. this is a transformational times. there are certain times that you recognize that it's going to impact future generations. this is one of those times. this is reminiscent of the
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1980's and when reagan was in office saying we can do better for the american people. we must emprays and advance and must make change to ensure that future generations recognize that we can get better outcomes and not engage in the false choice. we have to take that message across the country. i ask your help in this regard. we as an american people need to ask and answer the questions, what is true environmentalism? because there have been those in this town in the last decade that told us that the last answer is we have natural resources. do ould put up fences and not touch. much is required. and this nation has been blessed with enormous natural resources and we have an obligation to feed the world and power the world. and god has given us those
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resources and use they will for the betterment of mankind with stewardship going forward. i would submit that true environmentalism is not prohibition. true environmentalism is stewardship. and we do it better than anyone in the world in that regard. we need to embrace and advance that message and ensure this country doesn't revert back to the false choices, the regulatory agencies picking winners and losers that we have to choose between jobs and the environment. the american people deserve a better future in that regard and this president is leading that effort. and i ask tore your help and he asks for your help 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 the opportunity to be a beacon to the rest of the world. i appreciate what you do. [applause]
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administrator pruitt: i appreciate what you do. i appreciate your encouragement. i appreciate your support. and i just pray as we gather and go out from here that we continue to exercise religious freedom. >> we are going live now to quebec where president trump is sitting down with prime minister trudeau. prime minister trudeau: trade has been a topic of discussion and our engagement towards the world, how we are working together to create jobs for both sides of the harbor. we got elected on the commitment to grow the middle class and that's what we are going to stay focused on and pleasure to have you here. president trump: it has been great and i appreciate -- justin has agreed to cut all