By: U.S. Senator John Barrasso

Feb. 1, 2017

USA Today


The Environmental Protection Agency needs reform.

Anyone who doubts the deterioration at this once-respected agency should recall the summer of 2015, when the EPA spilled more than 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river.

Last month, the EPA denied $1.2 billion in damage claims from farmers, Native American tribes and small businesses. This disaster followed the EPA’s mishandling of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

The government agency responsible for protecting the environment and the health of Americans has been endangering the public’s health.

The EPA has become a bloated regulatory behemoth that has lost sight of the needs of the American people and the environment. The agency’s bureaucrats have been more preoccupied with pushing punishing new regulations.

This red tape killed thousands of jobs in energy-producing and manufacturing states such as West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, North Dakota and my state of Wyoming.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA, is committed to protecting the environment — ensuring clean air, water and land — while allowing the American economy to grow.

Pruitt will be the strong leader the EPA needs. He has seen the consequences of the agency’s overreach, and he has worked to restore its original focus. He negotiated a water rights settlement with tribes to preserve scenic lakes and rivers.

He worked with Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat and former Arkansas attorney general, to reduce pollution in the Illinois River, which flows between their two states. He stood up to oil and gas companies that polluted his state’s air and water.

Pruitt has won bipartisan recognition and support. McDaniel called him a “staunch defender of sound science and good policy as appropriate tools to protect the environment.”

Scott Pruitt will be an excellent EPA administrator, committed to reform.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.