House panel books Pruitt for December hearing

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will return to Capitol Hill next month.

Republican lawmakers announced today that the EPA chief will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment on Dec. 7.

Lawmakers have been pushing Pruitt to testify before Congress. He last went to House and Senate hearings this June to discuss the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget plan for the agency.

“We’re looking forward to receiving a much-needed update from Mr. Pruitt on his priorities for the agency, including his stated policy of getting EPA ‘back to the basics’ and its impact on the agency’s activity going forward,” said Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

“Following EPA’s controversial and expansive interpretation of its authorities during the past administration, it is past time for EPA to refocus on pursuing its important public health and environmental missions as Congress originally intended,” they said.

Other committees are also looking into having Pruitt testify before their members.

After being pressed by Democrats, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said he was looking into scheduling a hearing date for Pruitt (Greenwire, Nov. 8).

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has pushed for Pruitt to appear before his panel too, specifically to discuss EPA’s budget.

Neither of those committees have announced a hearing with Pruitt yet.