Former Washington State Senator ‘Very Excited’ About Pruitt Confirmation To Head EPA
Former Washington state Sen. Don Benton said he’s “very excited” about the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Benton is a senior adviser to the White House at the EPA.
Don Benton was President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in Washington and led the President’s EPA transition. Now the southwest Washington Republican has a permanent role advising the President on EPA matters.
“Working for him is one of the greatest honors of my life,” Benton said.
Speaking personally and not as a spokesman for EPA, Benton said he expects Trump to issue executive orders aimed at reducing environmental regulations and giving power back to the states. But Benton also said the EPA’s commitment to public health won’t change.
He offered praise for the agency and its staff.
“There’s no question that the Environmental Protection Agency does tremendously powerful work in protecting citizens’ health and safety from environmental concerns,” Benton said.
But Benton said he can’t speculate how Trump and Pruitt will direct the agency’s work.
Previously, Benton was Environmental Director for Clark County. He said Trump’s transition “beachhead team” at the EPA had a “very good” relationship with agency staff. However, current and former agency staff have opposed and even protested Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. While Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA repeatedly and often was allied with energy companies that challenged EPA rules and regulations.
Benton said he does not expect actions the Trump administration takes to affect Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s efforts to cap carbon emissions or the state’s implementation of new water quality standards aimed at protecting people who consume large amounts of fish.
Last November, the EPA found that parts of Washington’s new standards are not stringent enough to meet EPA requirements.
Copyright 2017 NWNews. To see more, visit NWNews.
Nonprofit asks EPA to investigate the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
Yakima Clean Air Compliance website in Spanish. (Screenshot from the YRCAA website.) Listen (Runtime 1:33) Read A nonprofit organization, Friends of Toppenish Creek, is asking the U.S Environmental Protection Agency… Continue Reading Nonprofit asks EPA to investigate the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
What we learned from COVID: Delaney Snaadt
When COVID-19 reached the Inland Northwest, few people could have predicted the profound changes it would cause. NWPB’s Rachel Sun interviewed local residents about how the pandemic changed their mental health, lives, and perspective. This is the second in a four-part mini series. Continue Reading What we learned from COVID: Delaney Snaadt
WA Supreme Court upholds capital gains tax just weeks ahead of collection deadline
The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in a 7-2 decision to uphold the constitutionality of the state’s new capital gains tax. The decision filed Friday comes just weeks before taxes are due. Continue Reading WA Supreme Court upholds capital gains tax just weeks ahead of collection deadline