Scott Pruitt does his part to help Donald Trump drain the swamp

Scott Pruitt does his part to help Donald Trump drain the swamp
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE’s unexpected victory in 2016 was in no small part due to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington. And among members of the White House Cabinet, no agency head has done more to follow the president’s lead in draining the swamp than Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittUnderstanding the barriers between scientists, the public and the truth Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Trump-era EPA board member sues over firing MORE, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency. Make no mistake, that’s why the left and its allies in the media are working overtime to smear him.

They know he’s being effective — perhaps the most effective member of Trump’s Cabinet when it comes to actually translating rhetoric into reality — and they know they cannot stop him, so in typical swamp fashion, they are intent on destroying him. After eight years under President Obama, Americans were fed up with being ordered around by liberal elites in a distant capital city, and by bureaucrats who put in place job-killing regulations and pushed policies that steadily reduced the number of Americans looking for work year after year, all while calling it “progress.”

President Trump has reversed that. He has led the way on draining the swamp, with a White House directive to agencies to cut two regulations for every new regulation proposed, with tax reforms that simplify the tax code and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, and with decisions like the one he made to remove the United States from the unfair and ineffective Paris climate accord.

At the EPA, one of the very worst of the alphabet soup bureaucratic fiefdoms that make up the swamp, Pruitt took charge and immediately focused on returning the agency to its stated goals of improving air quality, shoring up our water infrastructure, and cleaning up contaminated areas. This was a huge change after the Obama administration, which used the EPA to issue volumes of job-killing regulations to mollify environmental extremists. Among its most egregious efforts, it utilized “sue and settle” practices to abuse legal limits on rulemaking and reward ideological allies.

In his first year in charge of the EPA, Pruitt finalized more than 20 deregulatory actions, saving taxpayers more than $1 billion in regulatory costs. He also ended the “sue and settle” practices. The agency is rescinding and replacing the ridiculous and onerous “Waters of the United States” rule, and acting on President Trump’s order to review and overturn the Obama administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

Delivering these results has put a “yuge” target on Pruitt’s back. The environmental left, liberal bureaucrats and academics, and their allies in the media have been relentlessly attacking him in what appears to be a coordinated media assault, but he won’t back down and he won’t be intimidated. This year, Pruitt is ensuring the EPA adheres to the rule of law and continues to remove burdensome regulations that are harming workers and consumers. Just this week, the EPA announced its decision not to move forward with the Obama administration’s anti-consumer fuel efficiency standards, which could have harmed consumers by artificially driving up the price of American cars and trucks.

Likewise, in a huge blow to the environmental left, Pruitt has announced the agency will end the use of “secret science” — data that is not subject to public scrutiny — in crafting new rules for the agency. In a recent interview, Pruitt said, “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record. Otherwise, it’s not transparent. It’s not objectively measured, and that’s important.” More transparency in decision-making at an agency under as much pressure from activists as the EPA is critical to ensuring taxpayers and consumers aren’t harmed by rulemaking gone amok.

In spite of his coming under attack from the radical left and their allies in the liberal media, Pruitt is making real progress for the American people at an agency that the left believes it alone should run and control. President Trump unified a governing coalition behind the promise of draining the swamp in Washington, and of all his Cabinet members, Scott Pruitt has done the most to help him advance the cause.

Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.