U.S. Sens. Cruz, Paul defend EPA head Scott Pruitt, say he’s needed to ‘drain the regulatory swamp’

By Michael Bastasch

Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas came out in defense of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt as media reports suggest his time in the Trump administration may be nearing its end.

Paul said Pruitt is needed to “drain the regulatory swamp,” while Cruz said Trump is “too cagey to be duped and bullied by the Obama groupies” regarding the Oklahoma attorney general’s fate.

The public endorsements come amid calls for Pruitt’s head. New reports about Pruitt’s first-class flights, renting of a room from an energy lobbyist’s wife and circumventing the White House to give pay raises to staffers.

Trump called Pruitt on Monday to tell him “we’ve got your back,” but the White House has since distanced itself from Pruitt’s handling of the media. Bloomberg reports Trump asked lawmakers their thoughts on Pruitt on Wednesday, though he gave no indication which way he leaned on the matter.

Cruz and Paul joined a growing number of conservative activists and business executives asking Trump not to fire Pruitt. Conservatives argue Trump’s deregulatory agenda would come to a screeching halt should Pruitt be removed, giving Democrats exactly what they want.

Democrats, meanwhile, are demanding answers from Pruitt regarding mounting ethics controversies. Liberal lawmakers and activists have called on Pruitt to resign from EPA.

Longtime Pruitt aide Samantha Dravis submitted her resignation on Thursday. Dravis serves as senior counsel and associate administrator at EPA.

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2 thoughts on “U.S. Sens. Cruz, Paul defend EPA head Scott Pruitt, say he’s needed to ‘drain the regulatory swamp’

  1. Pruitt is being bashed for relaxing mileage rules for cars.

    The bashing of the EPA mileage standards is a tempest in a teapot; another opportunity for bashers to do some meaningless grandstanding.

    The fleet average of NEW cars (not SUVs, minivans, 1/4-ton pick-ups) was set at 54.5 mpg in model year 2025.

    But that assumed 1) there would be at least 1.5 million of NEW plug-in hybrids and plug-in all electrics, and 2) the phony, inflated EPA mpg-eq. would be averaged into the mix of NEW cars.

    That turned out to be a pure fantasy, dreamt up by the EPA and Obama and Montpelier, VT, because THERE WILL NOT BE 1.5 million NEW plug-ins in 2025; even with a $7000 FEDERAL TAX CREDIT per plug-in.

    So the fantasy collapsed. The US car manufacturers were between a rock and a hard place.

    To maintain the viability of US car manufacturers, and save MANUFACTURING jobs, Pruitt had NO CHOICE but to reduce the requirement to about 45 – 46 mpg, which is still is quite a difficult requirement without “help” from NEW plug-ins.
    A lot more people will be driving smaller cars, likely made in Europe and East Asia, and SUVs, which have less stringent mileage requirements.


  2. We need Pruitt at the EPA in trying to bring some balance to that agency created by Richard Nixon.

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