EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was in Little Rock today and touted his effort to loosen clean air and water rules at a meeting at the Don and Randal Tyson Conference Center at the Arkansas Poultry Federation.
This was not a widely announced visit to the poultry lobby HQ. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge were on hand, along with a select audience, and they posted photos of the appearance on Twitter.
Too much publicity perhaps would have drawn some resistors to the sidewalk outside.
On his own Twitter account, Pruitt said he was
In the #NaturalState talking #WOTUS w folks representing rice, pork, cattlemen, electric utilities & other vital industries
People who fight for clean water, no pig poop in the Buffalo River, clean air so you can see the bluffs and you’re average air-breathing, water-drinking city-dwelling Arkie? They weren’t specifically listed.
Hutchinson put it this way:
The @EPA’s #StateActionTour brought @EPAScottPruitt to AR. He’s now listening to AR Agriculture stakeholders’ responses to the #WOTUS rule.
WOTUS is waters of the United States. It refers to an Obama-era rule to make clear clean water rules apply to streams and wetlands that flow into navigable streams. Poop does run down hill after all. Farmers, particularly, howled at the extension of protection to water that makes up a big part of the country’s drinking water supply. The Trump administration plans to roll things back. The Audubon Society explains. I’m guessing they weren’t on the invite list either.
Here’s how Rutledge Tweeted it:
.@EPAScottPruitt wants to give farmers and ranchers certainty in a new #WOTUS rule. Listening to ideas of Arkansas landowners today. #arpx
City dwellers who want certainty about their water supply? Some other time.
Those sitting up front included Becky Keogh, director of the state’s putative department of “Environmental Quality.”
PS — Don’t go to fondly remembering former Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on this occasion. He touted Pruitt, former Oklahoma a.g., as a great pick to head EPA. McDaniel was a friend of air-polluting coal burners, too.
After the event concluded, Rutledge issued a news release praising Pruitt and herself. She touted her own work to roll back the WOTUS water protection rule; to allow more pollution from coal-burning smokestacks; to fight haze and mercury rules; to oppose rules aiming to reduce smog, and other anti-regulatory efforts. Cough.
Glen Hooks of the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club also commented later:
“Arkansas is The Natural State, a place where we place a high priority on clean water. We hope that Administrator Pruitt learned today about the damage and environmental consequences that the Trump Administration’s clean water rollbacks will cause to our citizens and waterways.
“”The Clean Water Act makes it plain that science should lead policy, not the other way around. Arkansans expect the EPA to lead the fight to protect our most precious resources. Sadly, Administrator Pruitt is taking a different approach.
“Since assuming office back in February, Administrator Pruitt has proposed rolling back dozens of existing environmental protections – recklessly creating new threats to the health and quality of life of Arkansas families.
The Arkansas Sierra Club is committed to protecting our water and natural resources here in The Natural State. We will continue to strenuously oppose the Trump Administration’s environmental rollbacks at every opportunity, because our state’s air and water are worth fighting for.”