President Donald Trump called EPA administrator Scott Pruitt “an incompetent asshole” and said that he has “no respect” for the agency’s decision to move forward with plans to clean up toxic chemicals in the nation’s waterways.
Pruitt’s office announced the move Monday, saying the administration plans to begin the cleanup of more than 800,000 gallons of toxic chemicals from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20.
The move comes just a day after Pruitt said the Clean Water Act should not apply to states and that states could decide what regulations to adopt to address pollution from oil and gas wells.
Pruitt also said he believes states should have the authority to regulate oil and natural gas wells in their own state.
“The EPA is acting as if the Clean Air Act does not apply,” Pruitt said Monday.
“It does apply.
It does apply to this particular area, which has been under review by the courts.”
Pruitt also called the EPA’s decision “disappointing” and urged the agency to make more decisions on oil and environmental issues.
Pruitt said his administration is “considering a number of actions that will lead to cleaner air, more resilient ecosystems, more economic growth and better health for Americans.”
Trump also called for the EPA to make decisions on climate change, saying it is the “single biggest issue that we have to deal with” and called for a “reassessment of the entire nation’s energy system.”
Pruitt said that EPA should look at the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and whether it has caused climate change.
He also called on Congress to pass legislation that would address the issue.
“We are not going to wait for the courts,” Trump said.
“No, we’re not going.”
Trump said that the federal government should focus on energy independence and not focus on regulating the environment.
“You can’t just sit back and say the only thing that matters is the economy,” Trump added.
Pruitt is the first EPA administrator in more than a decade to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, which requires countries to reduce emissions from their energy systems.
In February, Pruitt said he will resign from his position at the agency “in the coming days.”
Trump has also suggested that he would withdraw the U.S. from the landmark international agreement to limit global warming.
Pruitt told The Associated Press that the United States will be a global leader in energy independence, but he also called it important to “take action to make sure that our economy and the environment continue to thrive.”
Trump on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama for trying to force a clean energy revolution at the expense of American workers.
“What is happening is that they’re just taking away our jobs, and they’re taking away the jobs of our workers, and then they’re going to go after us with a bunch of regulations,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“I’m not going down that road.
I’m not doing that.
I have a lot of respect for the people of the United State, and I’m going to do everything I can to get them back.”
Trump’s comments come as Trump has been criticized for not taking more aggressive action on climate and other environmental issues, especially on the issue of global warming and the Paris agreement.