tv Administrator Scott Pruitt Addresses EPA Employees CSPAN February 21, 2017 11:43pm-12:01am EST
law-abiding immigrants, and embraces vladimir putin. the disgraceful ice raids targeting immigrant families are deeply upsetting, cruel, and designed to spread fear. it has made america less safe, less strong, and more fearful. >> the nominee for administrator for the centers for medicare and medicaid services at her confirmation hearing. >> i'm extremely humbled as a first-generation american to be sitting before this committee after being nominated by the president of the united states. it is a testament to the fact that they american dream is very much alive for those willing to work for it. >> all c-span programs are available at www.c-span.org, on our home page or by searching the video library. administrator scott pruitt spoke to employees at the environmental protection agency headquarters about leading the
agency. mr. pruitt was confirmed by the senate last friday. [applause] good afternoon, epa colleagues. i am honored to have the opportunity today to present to you our new administrator scott pruitt. give him another round. [applause] >> as you know, administrator pruitt comes to us from the state of oklahoma where most recently he's been the attorney general. prior to his service as attorney general administrator pruitt was in the state senate of oklahoma for eight years. he originally hailed from the state of kentucky. he earned his bachelors degree from georgetown college in kentucky then moved to oklahoma where he graduated from the university of oklahoma at tulsa law school. before entering public service,
he practiced law for a private firm in oklahoma. administrator pruitt and his maryland, arers, the devoted parents of two children. got to love those names. administrator pruitt, in addition to his years of experience in the public sector is also a successful entrepreneur. as a co-owner and general managing partner of oklahoma city's aaa minor league baseball affiliate, the oklahoma city red hawks, he's helped become one of the minor league leaders in attendance. so as you can see our new administrator has not only a record of public service but also business experience that will serve him well as he under takes his new responsibilities at our agency. of course i will leave it to administrator pruitt to share his vision and principles for
his leadership at epa, but i would like to highlight just a few examples from his biography, some examples of how he has worked with others during his service in the public sector that i think will be of particular interest to you. as attorney general for oklahoma mr. pruitt worked with his democratic counterpart in arkansas regarding water quality in the illinois river which crosses the border between the two states. together they developed a statement of joint principals for a scientific study using epa approved methods and both states agreed to be bound by the outcome. in another example from his time as oklahoma attorney general, mr. pruitt led a historic water rights settlement between the state of oklahoma, oklahoma city and the choctaw and chickasaw tribal nations which will preserve the ecosystems, scenic lakes, and rivers on native
land. as we all know, water rights cases can be lengthy, costly, and divisive, but the process developed under administrator pruitt's leadership has been praised widely for harnessing the principles of cooperation, hard work, and perseverance, to enable parties with conflicting interests to forge common solutions. we commend you, administrator pruitt, for your demonstrated commitment to working with a variety of stakeholders in these very challenging situations. we look forward to your bringing this experience and commitment to the many challenging issues that face this agency as we strive to protect the public health and environment of the people of the united states. i am confident you will find that the dedicated public servants of epa share your commitment to working hard and in close cooperation with our dedicated partners to carry out our shared mission.
we all understand that's the only way we can fulfill the many responsibilities that congress has given us. following the law and using the best science to protect the health of our families now and in the years to come. administrator pruitt, we are eager eager to hear your vision, and talk about the very manied -- the many varied aspects of our important work. but first i have a few small gifts to welcome you to the epa. first i would like to present you -- won't need to look too closely to see it. mr. pruitt: unfortunately my eyes are not the best. >> this is a lapel pin for the epa that you can proudly wear as you represent the agency. mr. pruitt: thank you very much.
>> secondly. when you go out into the field, you will need this hat. [applause] >> not only mark you as the representative and administrator of epa but it's really good from protecting you from the sun as well. i suspect you know that from your baseball years. so thank you very much for joining us. we are so pleased to have you. mr. pruitt: thanks, catherine. thank you so much. [applause] well, thank you, catherine. it has been a joy to meet catherine and spend time with her. i do thank you for the hat. i'm excited about being in a city that actually has a major league baseball team because that's going to be exciting in the evening to enjoy some good baseball and i'll make sure i wear this hat as we attend those games.
and the parent club of my aaa team was the texas rangers, so during the american league we're going to be ok to cheer for the nationals for the national league, so excited about that. it's been an honor and joy to be with you this morning. i've gotten a chance to meet with some of you and as i spent time with you this morning it was abundantly clear to me that you love what you do. there's an old saying that if do, you neveryou work a day in your life. so i want to say thank you for catherine, for her leadership the last month and a half or so, it took a while to get here, but thank you for that. and i want to say thank you for those who have served this for quite some time. i think the least amount of years i heard was 19 years. that says a lot about your mission and the people that are here. i want to commend you for your service to this country and this
agency and thank you for that. i know it's very difficult to capture in one speech the vision and direction of an agency, i also recognize that you don't know me very well. in fact you don't know me hardly at all other than what you have read in the newspaper and seen on the news and i might suggest to you just like paul harvey used to say, i look forward to sharing the rest of the story with you as we spend time together. but this is a beginning for us to discuss time and certain principals by which this agency should conduct itself and i look forward to leading this agency with these principles in mind. there was a book several years ago that i read called "founding brothers." it's a book by joseph ellis, a historian from university of vermont, and it's a book about historical encounters with the founding generation. there was one particular chapter, a vignette that took place between thomas jefferson
and james madison and alexander hamilton. place as atook result of something that was going on in congress in 1790. it was a difficult and challenging issue called the assumption bill. the colonies came out of the war. there was tremendous debt that the states had incurred and could not pay the debt and alex ander hamilton had a great idea, that the government should assume that debt and pay it off on behalf of the states. that caused people like thomas jefferson and james madison to be concerned about the role of this federal government and the newfound responsibilities that it might have and so there was in tractability around some important issues, the role between the federal government and states. sounds a little like today. and they did something that doesn't happen very much today, they actually got together. they actually spent time together. in this environment that we live
in this country today it is a very -- forgive the reference, but it is a very toxic environment. we have jerseys we put on politically and otherwise, and i think that's something that is damaging overall to finding answers to issues that we face as a country. but as they got together for dinner and dealt with this difficult challenge of assuming debt and this idea that alexander hamilton had they were able to work out a solution. and if you don't know, james madison and thomas jefferson said we'll let it go forward in congress, but in exchange we want something. we want to move the capital to the shores of the potomac, the homeland of virginia. we have the capital in washington, d.c. largely because of the dinner that took place between those three gentlemen. i share that for these three reasons frars principals as we do our work and journey together. one, they led, they actually
found solutions. they worked to the problem solvers. they didn't shirk their responsibility. they took that difficult challenge and said, we will do our job and find an answer to this challenge. and as we do our work here we deal with very important issues with respect to our future, environment, and national resources. we must have the same kind of attitude of finding answers, being problem solvers, and leading to make those decisions. secondly, i think this is in short supply in this country today, they acted with civility. civility is something i believe in very much. we ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some very difficult issues and do so in a civil manner. we ought to be able to be thoughtful and exchange ideas and engage in debate, and make sure we do find answers to these
problems, but do so with civility. i think that was exemplified in the story i shared with you from "founding brothers." thirdly, and this is something i mentioned to catherine this morning, and i mentioned to some of you as well, i seek to be a good listener. those of you who have been here quite some time, whatever area you may be in, i look forward to spending time with you, not just to get to address certain issues but really spend time and dig down deep with respect to how we're going to do business in the future and get to know you personally and how i can be a resource to you as you do your work. and i think the story of listening, you can't lead unless you listen. i seek to listen, learn, and lead with you to address these issues that we face as a nation. there's a second book that i've read, and i've read more than
two, but these are two of my favorites. the second book that i would highlight for you that kind of bookends our decision is called "inventing freedom." the a wonderful book about uniqueness of the american experiment, how we do business as a country. so these general principals of civility, finding answers, making sure we listen to each other as we solve problems, i think those are general principles we should keep in mind. but i would like to share with you others i think are important that flow from this book about the importance and unique ness of the american experiment. one is that process matters. this is not going to sound earth shattering to you but i think it is very important to say, regulations ought to make things regular. regulators exist to give certainty to those they regulate. those that we regulate ought to
know what we expect of them so they can plan and outline resources to comply. that's really the job of a regulator. and the process we engage in in adopting regulations is very, very important because it sends a message that we take seriously our role of taking comment and offering response and making informed decisions on how it's going to impact those in the marketplace to achieve the ends that we have in statute. so process matters. and we should respect that and focus on that and try to avoid -- not try to avoid -- but do avoid abuses that occur sometimes. using the guidance process to do rule making or engaging in litigation, consent decrees that bypass the administrator procedures act, we need to be open, and transparent, and objective in rulemaking and follow the letter of the law as we do so.
that will send a great message to those regulated but more importantly they will know what's expected of them and act accordingly. which leads me to the second point, the rule of law. rulemaking, as we engage in process, it needs to be tethered to the statute. the only authority that any agency has in the executive branch is the authority given to it by congress. sometimes those authorities are broadly stated, giving much discretion to an agency to engage in authority given to it -- granted -- but other times congress has been very descriptive on what we can and cannot do as an agency. when we do that, guess what happens. we avoid litigation, avoid the uncertainty of litigation and reach better outcomes at the end of the day. and the third thing with respect to this process and rule of law is that federalism matters. federalism matters. as you know because you have
dealt these issues for a number of years, congress has been very prescriptive in providing many instances a very robust role, a very important role. catherine, we talked about our regional offices and how important they are, with respect to enforcement and other related issues, and i seek to ensure that we engender the trust of those at the state level, that those at the state level see us as partners in this very important mission we have as an agency, and not adversaries. so federalism is something that is important. process is something that is important. obviously rule of law is important as well. john muir one time said everyone needs beauty as well as bread and places to play in and pray in. i believe we that we can be better as a country.
i believe that we as an agency and a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs, and proenvironment, that we don't have to choose between the two. i think our nation has done better than any in the world of protecting our natural resources and environment while also respecting the economic growth and jobs our nation seeks to have. and the hope as we journey together, that we will establish places to pray and and places to play in for our citizens, and do the very important work as an agency. thank you very much for coming today. i look forward to serving you. [applause] >> that concludes our event. thank you for attending.