Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the epa announced in CPAC, that there will soon be many substantial cuts to the agency. The Clean Power Plan, (which has already been threatened by trump) a policy started during the Obama presidency which regulates carbon emissions from power plants will be cut. As well as regulations managing water pollution with the cutting of the Waters of the United States rule. Most concerning is that Pruitt said he thinks scrapping the Environmental Protection Agency itself could be justified. As such we can expect further cuts.

The end of the EPA?

The announcement of these cuts and the potential elimination of the EPA itself relates to the Trump administration’s criticisms of how the EPA was used under Obama. It is felt by the Trump administration, that over the past eight years of the Obama administration, the EPA has been used in ways which have caused many to lose their jobs and has had a detrimental effect on the economy.

Furthermore, the administration seems to want the EPA to become more federalised. With environmental policies and regulations being under the control of each state. He said: “There are a lot of changes that need to take place at my agency to restore the rule of law and federalism.”Making environmental protection a state’s rights issue could prove popular with some voters and businesses, however, its potential impact on the environment itself could prove disastrous.

The Severity of these cuts means that they will likely take a very long time to implement, and will be majorly contested by environmentalists.

Pruitt’s History with the EPA

Pruitt is a known climate change skeptic, so this isn’t the first-time Pruitt has opposed the EPA. As attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA fourteen times, often in the favor of oil and gas companies instead of the interests of the population.

In fact, he even temporarily froze the two bills that he now aims to cut. In appointing Pruitt to head the EPA, he chose someone who clearly shared his disdain for the agency, an agency Trump once called “a disgrace”.