US environment chief: We can be both pro-energy and pro-environment

Newly-appointed head of the US environmental department believes growing the economy and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. In his first address to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) […]

By Priyanka Shrestha

Newly-appointed head of the US environmental department believes growing the economy and protecting the environment can go hand in hand.

In his first address to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff, climate sceptic Scott Pruitt said he seeks to “listen, learn and lead” to address the issues faced as a nation.

The EPA was created with the purpose of protecting human health and the environment.

Mr Pruitt added: “I believe that we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment. We don’t’ have to choose between the two. I think our nation has done better than any nation in the world at making sure that we do the job of protecting our natural resources and protecting our environment, while also respecting economic growth.”

However, there was no mention of climate change.

The EPA chief is thought to have close ties to the oil and gas industry, with a state judge last week ordering him to release a number of emails between his office and energy companies.

Addressing his regulatory views, he also said “regulations ought to make things regular” and organisations like the EPA should “give certainty to those that they regulate”.