Newly minted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt on Saturday spoke of an “aggressive” agenda of regulatory rollbacks, criticizing the previous Obama administration for being “so focused on climate change.”
In a question-and-answer session at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, Pruitt blamed the Obama administration for failing to tackle more state-based environmental issues, such as a decades-old water quality issues in Oregon tied to a nuclear facility in Washington.
“What has happened over the past several years, is the previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2 that some of those other priorities were left behind,” he said.
“We as Republicans don’t have anything to be apologetic about with respect to the environment – nothing,” he added. “We have always believed that you can grow jobs, grow an economy, while also doing what? Being a good steward of the environment.”
Pruitt was confirmed to lead the EPA last week and his first day was Tuesday. His appearance at the political forum underscored the Trump administration’s embrace of the conference this week.
President Trump spoke at the conservative confab Friday, while Vice President Pence, White House chief of staff and chief strategist Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, as well as senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, also appeared.