President Joe Biden likes to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the high prices at the nation's gas pumps, "but this problem we have domestically, it's all President Biden," Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Donald Trump, said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"Candidate Biden promised a war on fossil fuels. President Biden has carried it out," Pruitt, also a former attorney general for the state of Oklahoma, commented on Newsmax's "National Report." "The American people need to be able to produce energy, lower-cost energy."
Biden's moves aren't just affecting the price of gas, but are causing a global issue, said Pruitt.
"As we produce energy in the U. S, and export it to Europe and Eastern Europe, particularly, guess who produces less of it? China and Russia," said Pruitt. "When we're producing energy, the world is more free. When we're not producing energy, it's less free because it depends upon Russia. This president and this administration need to get that and change course immediately."
His comments come after the Biden administration last week proposed a five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program to allow for up to 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one in Alaska's Cook Inlet, but the option to not have lease sales was also left on the table.
Pruitt also on Wednesday commented on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in the case of West Virginia v. EPA which curtailed some of the agency's powers, including the requirement that coal-burning power plants switch to renewable energy sources.
"What a great weekend leading up to July Fourth, because the Supreme Court restored the balance of power between the branches," said Pruitt. "This is fifth-grade civics. The executive branch exists to enforce the laws passed by Congress."
But the court, with its ruling, said that Congress is not being active where the EPA is concerned and has not passed regulations, restrictions, or standards, said Pruitt.
"This started in the Obama administration with the clean power plan," said Pruitt. "I and others, and state attorneys general, brought lawsuits against the Obama administration for making up out of whole cloth with respect to these types of regulations.
"The court stepped in to restore that balance between the branches … when Congress fails to do its job the executive branch can't pitch hit for the legislative branch and effectively, that's what the court is saying."
The ruling also returns decisions to the states, and Pruitt said such federalism has always been the key to protecting the environment.
"The water quality in Minnesota and water issues in Minnesota are much different than Arizona, as you might imagine, and the same for Oklahoma and Texas," he said. "The states have always had a robust regulatory regime. The problem with the EPA historically is that it's disregarded the states, not empowered the states.
"This is an opportunity for cooperative federalism to take effect and have endlessly better outcomes as far as water quality and air quality across the country."
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