Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Tuesday the Trump administration would soon address the EPA’s stifling permit process.
Ross told reporters the agency’s permit requirements for portable toilets on oil and gas drilling is an example of too much regulation. Ross, a billionaire business mogul, added that many of these onerous regulations can be eliminated through executive orders.
“Well, if you can imagine that if they (EPA) torture you with getting a permit for a porta potty, how about a permit to actually drill a well? That whole mindset has got to change,” he told reporters, adding that administration will make recommendations later this month on how to deal with the rules.
Ross said that he has barnstormed across the country talking to various companies about the layers of permits and regulations they contend with on a daily and yearly basis. He was one of President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters during the election,
Ross also said he recently talked with Australian mining giant Rio Tinto about the firm’s attempts to open a copper mine in Arizona.
“They’ve been eight years trying to get permits to do it,” Ross said. “There’s been hundreds of millions of dollars (spent), and they still don’t even have the assurance that they will get it.”
He added: “A company shouldn’t have to be hundreds of millions of dollars into risk money without knowing whether there is a real chance it is going to get approved.”
Trump made sweeping away former President Barack Obama’s climate regulations one of the pillars of his presidential campaign. The White House plans to eliminate restrictions on U.S. energy production, mainly through nixing Obama-era rules such as the “Climate Action Plan” and the “Waters of the U.S.” rule. The White House says repealing these rules will boost wages “more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.”
The president notched a major victory last month after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ agreed to pause litigation over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The court’s decision makes it easier for the Trump administration to repeal CPP, which was intended to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants to slow global warming.