OK Energy Producers Believe Pruitt Can Bring Balance As EPA Head
TULSA, Oklahoma - Former Texas Governor Rick Perry moved a step closer to confirmation as Energy Secretary Tuesday.
But Oklahoma Energy producers are more interested in the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
The first vote on Pruitt is Wednesday, though Democrats are asking for a delay.
Oil producers are hoping he will change practices at the EPA they believe favored environmental interests over common sense.
Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General, was well known for suing the agency he's been nominated to lead - but Oklahoma oil producers say that's not the full story. They say he was suing EPA to follow its own direction instead of what they believe was an agency that always gave in to environmental groups.
Randy Sullivan with Tulsa’s Avalon Exploration said, “And I think you'll see that Scott Pruitt has come to the aid of producers.”
Sullivan said the EPA, for the last eight years, rolled out regulations of uncertain value, but very clear expense, and he's hoping to see that turned around.
“We're a very small company, and the cost to us would have been enormous to meet those requirements. And I hope when Scott is involved, policies that are not effective, that are there just because they can, will change, and we'll end up with policies that end up with the most protection for the environment for the dollar spent,” he said.
With Rick Perry as Energy Secretary and Pruitt leading EPA, oil producers expect fewer regulations, especially with guidance from the top; President Donald Trump has ordered agencies to cut regulations before they create new ones.
Sullivan said, "Finding the balance between jobs, and creating energy, cheap energy that the world needs, and protecting the environment, there has to be a balance in all that."
Pruitt's first confirmation vote, at this point, is still set for Wednesday morning.