Pruitt’s remarks focused on his efforts to return the rule of law to the EPA, to bring “a degree of humility” to governance, and to demonstrate that strong and effective environmental stewardship can be achieved without restricting economic growth or negating America’s energy advantage.
“Our country is so rich in resources and so strongly committed to clean air, clean water, and a great environment, that we don’t have to make a choice,” Pruitt said. “We can have energy-driven growth and strong environmental stewardship.”
Pruitt also emphasized his commitment to restore the EPA’s constructive engagement with all stakeholders and to reinstate the cooperative federalism with states that is imbedded in the nation’s environmental laws. “Industry and states must be partners in our efforts to ensure strong environmental stewardship and we must enforce the law rather than attempt to influence energy markets,” Pruitt said. “This agency will not be picking winners and losers.”
Cloud Peak Energy CEO Colin Marshall expressed his sincere thanks to Pruitt on behalf of the company’s 1,300 employees for working with President Donald Trump to end the “war on coal.” Marshall noted that it is a remarkable change from the previous administration to have the EPA Administrator visit a coal company and take the time to speak with our employees and answer their questions.
He also shared with Pruitt his thoughts on how the coal industry can help the administrator’s vision of domestic energy resources driving responsible economic growth and international influence. “We should burn abundant, low-cost coal in modern High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) ultra-super critical coal plants in the U.S. to supply low-cost, reliable electricity to drive domestic economic growth,” Marshall said. “The U.S. should simultaneously develop carbon capture technology for future deployment to meaningfully reduce CO2 emissions when that technology becomes commercially available. In turn, we should use domestic natural gas primarily for heating and to provide industrial/chemical feedstock to boost economic growth while exporting surplus natural gas and oil to improve the U.S. balance of trade and drive global energy dominance.”