Quarles moderates discussion with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

04/06/2017 02:35 PM

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner is back in the commonwealth after sitting down with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Wednesday in Washington D.C.

Pruitt and agriculture commissioners from around the country spoke about the Environmental Protection Agency’s role under President Trump during an event for Ag America, which Quarles chairs.

“Scott Pruitt, growing up in central Kentucky and as a Georgetown College graduate, talked about commonsense solutions,” Quarles said. “I was glad to have moderated the panel with him, as well as other Ag Commissioners, so that he could talk about his vision and what the appropriate role of the EPA will be.”

Quarles predicted that the EPA will be more responsive under Pruitt and the Trump administration. President Trump has already taken executive action to rollback an Obama era rule known as the Water of the United States, or WOTUS, which designates certain waterways under control of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers.

“I think you’re also going to see a conversation where Administrator Pruitt will be working with the state’s on a more aggressive level,” he said. “I think that it’s been signaled that states have their own environmental plans — that includes Kentucky. In most cases at the state level we can administer policy at not only a better way, but also cheaper.”

Predicting a “renewed spirit” between the EPA and the coal industry, Quarles said that conversation is already taking place in the first 100 days of the new administration.

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, also participated in the event on Wednesday.

Ag America, the national organization that represents Republican Commissioners and Secretaries of Agriculture, will hold two more policy meetings this year, the next will be with Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam in Florida, who is running for governor of the sunshine state.


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