With all the fireworks of the 2016 campaign now silenced, President-elect Donald Trump is getting to work assembling a government. As a lifelong Democrat, I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a good choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.
As a Democrat, I take seriously the threats to our environment, and I believe we must work to address issues such as pollution, climate change, and ensuring clean air and water. Scott Pruitt’s background in constitutional law, combined with a nuanced understanding of how environmental regulations affect the economy, mean that he will be a thoughtful leader of the EPA, and one capable of striking the balance between protecting the environment and our economy.
Scott Pruitt understands that an American energy revolution is a means of new jobs and new wealth in our country. Of course, the energy industry, just like any other industry, should be subject to appropriate scrutiny to make sure laws are followed, our environment is protected, and Americans are safe. The potential for the energy industry to contribute to an economic renaissance is enormous: half a million jobs each year and $30 billion in higher wages, according to one study.
Finally, the job of the EPA is the essential mission of guaranteeing clean air and clean water. Scott Pruitt has never compromised those critical components of a healthy population with any actions he has taken. “We drink the water, we breathe the air here in Oklahoma. To think that we don’t care about that, and somehow are being led to sacrifice those things…not accurate,” Pruitt told the Financial Times. I am convinced Scott Pruitt will work to protect our natural habitats, reserves, and resources. His vision for a proper relationship between protection and prosperity makes him superbly qualified to serve as our next EPA administrator.