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GOP environment chairman plans ‘wholesale change’ at EPA

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The top senator overseeing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning a “wholesale change” at the agency under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the new chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote in a Fox News opinion piece Tuesday that he and Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt will implement a major policy turnaround at the agency.

Barrasso outlined the EPA’s failures under Obama, including the Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado and the Flint water crisis in Michigan. Barrasso also blamed the agency for instituting expensive regulations.

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“Disregard for the consequences of its actions has become the trademark of the EPA for the last eight years. Policy goals and talking points have consistently taken priority over American families. This cannot be the case any longer,” Barrasso wrote.

“I look forward to ushering in wholesale change at the EPA,” he continued. “I will be doing it alongside a committed and capable administrator.”

Barrasso’s panel will meet Wednesday to consider confirming Pruitt, who has been a frequent litigator against Obama’s EPA as the attorney general of Oklahoma.

Barrasso applauded Pruitt’s work against Obama’s EPA, saying he “stood up for Oklahomans against the EPA’s extreme regulations on greenhouse gasses, methane emissions, and cross state air pollution,” as well as challenging “unworkable” water rules and fighting Obama’s interpretations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

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