U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator nominee Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt during his confirmation hearing today about transparency at the agency. Click here to watch.
The following is a transcript of Boozman’s question:
Senator Boozman: For the past eight years, EPA has acted as a political arm of the Obama administration. Time and time again we have seen rules develop not based on sound science but political ideology. When rules are being released, states and [the] private sector and even Congress have had trouble getting EPA to show the science that helped develop these rules. Under your leadership, can we expect EPA to be more transparent? In other words, how the rules are being developed, the science behind them. You’ve continued to allude to this and I think it’s so important that as administrator of the EPA, can we count on you to base all of your decisions on the rule of law, not on the administrators or even your own political ideology?
Attorney General Pruitt: Absolutely, Senator. In response to the later part of your question, public participation is important. There is a reason why in rulemaking that you take comments. There’s a reason, as I indicated earlier to Senator Ernst, that you involve those that are impacted by rulemaking because you want to understand the impact both economically and otherwise and the benefit of the environment as well as making sure that you craft rules and regulations that take all of those things into consideration. So hearing the voices of all Americans in that rulemaking process, responding to those comments on the record before rules are finalized, transparency, a commitment to process is very important in my view of restoring the confidence of the American people in the rulemaking process.