Missouri politicians gathered Thursday to greet EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on his “back to basics” tour.
US Senator Roy Blunt, Representative Vicki Hartzler and state attorney general Josh Hawley were among those who visited the Thomas Hill Energy Center in northern Missouri to see Scott Pruitt, who was appointed to his place at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency by President Donald Trump in February.
Blunt introduced Pruitt by reflecting on last November’s presidential election.
“If you’d have told me a year ago that we could be here today with Scott Pruitt as administrator for the EPA, I would have said ‘surely it can’t be that good,'” Blunt said.
Pruitt emphasized the hands-off direction he plans for the EPA, including less regulation of coal electricity and the continued rollback of the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States rules, which expanded the definition of water that could be federally regulated.
“The EPA no longer is going to be an agency that tries to engage in power over water decisions at the state level," Pruitt said. "It’s gonna stay in its lane, and that process has begun."
Critics of Pruitt’s less aggressive approach to water and emissions regulation say it endangers water and air quality.