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J.D. Strong on WNYC: Pruitt Knows How To Balance Environmental Protection & Economic Development

While the extremists on the left keep smearing Scott Pruitt’s environmental record, those that know him best understand why he’s such a strong choice to lead the EPA.

In a radio interview for The Takeaway on WNYC, Oklahoma’s former Secretary Of The Environment and current head of the state’s Wildlife Conservation Dept. J.D. Strong explained how Pruitt is the right person to balance environmental protection with economic development. Listen to the full interview here but wanted to flag this particularly poignant exchange:

HOST: As attorney general in Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt unquestionably is charged with protecting the prosperity that comes from the oil and gas industry, right?

J.D. STRONG: Well I think he’s charged, first and foremost, with protecting the prosperity of this state in general. And certainly the oil and gas industry is a big industry and revenue generator in our state.

HOST: And it’s a revenue generator and it’s something the entire world is dependent on, with the price of West Texas crude being actually set here in Oklahoma.

J.D. STRONG: That’s definitely correct, yes.

HOST: So how does someone like Scott Pruitt that huge influence in balance with other forces in the federal government, other opinions, other ideas, when he’s setting out to manage the EPA?

J.D. STRONG: Well, I think lesser people probably couldn’t handle the need to keep things in proper balance. But Scott Pruitt, from what I’ve seen, is not one of those people. Worked with him for six years now, and have never once been asked to compromise our environmental integrity, our environmental regulations, anything, for the benefit of the oil and gas industry or any other industry in the state of Oklahoma. And so I think he is aware that it is possible to balance, and I think that he’s a believer as I am in the fact that environmental protection and economic development are not mutually exclusive. They can work hand in hand. And so, I think you have to have somebody that knows how to strike that proper balance. To have necessary environmental regulations to protect public health, first and foremost, but at the same time ensuring that we have economic prosperity in our state, in our country. Because we understand that that also helps us ultimately have a better quality of life, just as much as clean air and clean water do.

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