Attorney General Doug Peterson praises the pick of President-elect Donald Trump for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Peterson has worked with fellow Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma on a number of issues.
“We’ve worked with General Pruitt on several matters and I’ve gotten to know him personally,” Peterson tells Brownfield Ag News. “I think he’s an excellent appointment.”
Pruitt has been among the harshest critics of the EPA, reflecting the hostility against the agency which grew in the Midwest throughout the presidency of Barack Obama. Pruitt finds an ally in Peterson in his contention that the EPA has overstepped the authority granted it by Congress.
Peterson expects the outlook of the EPA to change under Pruitt, mainly because of the priorities Pruitt holds.
“In a priority that goes individual property rights, state rights, and the last would be any type of federal authority on those issues,” according to Peterson. “So, Scott has been very consistent among the attorneys general fighting against particularly the EPA and the type of overreach they’ve done affecting property owners.”
An attempt to expand the Clean Waters Act through its Waters of the United States rule only intensified the opposition to the EPA in farm country. Under the rule, the EPA would have much greater authority over streams and bodies of waters throughout the country. Farm groups have been strongly opposed, contending the rule runs roughshod over property rights.
Peterson says he could see Pruitt scrap the rule altogether.
“You could see possibly the EPA withdrawing its attempts to redefine their authority under Waters of the U.S.”
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this report.