Published: Thu, February 09, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Republican Representatives Propose A Bill to Abolish The EPA

Republican Representatives Propose A Bill to Abolish The EPA

The text for the piece of legislation called HR 861 has not had its text drafted as yet, but its title "To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency" is pretty self-explanatory. "We anticipate that as EPA administrator, Pruitt will listen to our concerns and those of others who work with the nation's natural resources on a daily basis".

If a freshman congressman from Florida has his way, the Environmental Protection Agency will be no more.

Scott Pruitt, Trump's controversial pick to head of the organization, still has a lawsuit against the EPA (and has sued them 13 times before) for regulating coal and gas emissions, one of its main purposes.

President Donald Trump briefly advocated abolishing the EPA while running for president, but backed off that position and later said he was in favor of keeping it. "By contrast, there is little or no evidence of Mr. Pruitt taking initiative to protect and advance public health and environmental protection in his state".

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Even though the EPA was created under Richard Nixon, the agency's employees have clashed in the past with Republican leaders, particularly under the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations. Democrats delayed the vote on Pruitt in committee, but their victory was temporary, and the Oklahoma state attorney general, known for his hand-in-glove relationship with the oil and gas industries, is likely to be confirmed this week.

Pruitt now serves as the Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Elsewhere in the Republican administration, Rep. Matt Gaetz would like to see the EPA gutted entirely. Republicans, though, have said Pruitt is well-suited to handle the job. At his confirmation hearing last month, he told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that he does not believe climate change is a hoax - a statement some critics say conflicts with previous remarks he's made on the issue.

Enck signed Monday's letter because Trump's choice of Pruitt "is an unprecedented assault on environmental protection", she said, "not just on EPA as an agency, but on our country's ability to enjoy clean air, clean water and a logical agenda on climate change". While Gaetz is confident that environmental regulatory power would simply shift to the states if the EPA is disbanded, legal experts told the News Journal that might not be the case.

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