Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt joined the coal industry in Pennsylvania Thursday to launch what he called the agency’s “Back-to-Basics” agenda, in which Washington gets out of the way of states’ natural resources development.
“What better way to launch EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda than visiting the hard-working coal miners who help power America,” said Pruitt, speaking at the Harvey Mine in Sycamore. “The coal industry was nearly devastated by years of regulatory overreach, but with new direction from President Trump, we are helping to turn things around for these miners and for many other hard-working Americans.”
The “Back-to-Basics” agenda “means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.”
The agenda involves a number of actions to roll back regulations affecting coal and other industries.
The agenda includes repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda, and the Waters of the U.S. rule, another EPA rule that the GOP has targeted as an egregious example of federal overreach. It also is canceling data collection requirements for methane emissions for the oil and gas industry, while establishing the EPA Regulatory Reform Task Force to conduct extensive reviews of “misaligned regulatory actions.”
In a joint statement with the EPA, the leaders of coal industry groups praised the agenda as a new beginning after the Obama administration.