Scott Pruitt, the newly minted head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gave his first speech earlier this week to the agency’s 15,0000 person team. While he outlined his vision and strong need to create new jobs and boost economic growth, questions about his altruism regarding the environment sadly remain. That doesn’t have to be the case though.
While one would justifiably think it’s rather odd for the new head of the EPA to have opposed both the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule, many would agree the EPA should modernize its regulatory practice with a bigger eye toward energy independence and environmental sustainability. So if Pruitt is as pro-energy and pro-environmental as he claims to be, perhaps he should really look to shake things up in Washington by supporting real solutions both major political parties can get behind, namely the advancement of peer-to-peer energy markets which can disrupt the way electricity is delivered.
Thus, the idea of letting state’s have more of a say in how they govern, a concept supported by Pruitt, could now open the door for the rise of microgrid infrastructure and a new kind of local energy platform that can not only create new jobs, it can help local communities tap secure technology to monetize the rise of solar power usage in this country, boost local economies and simultaneously advance cleaner cities for generations to come.
The question therefore needs to be asked: Who will Pruitt ultimately align himself with? Is it oil and coal companies or the American people, led by millennials, who are demanding cleaner energy solutions? If it’s the latter, peer-to-peer energy should receive EPA backing.
The facts remain, Pruitt has a history of close relationships with energy industry lobbyists that have pushed back on previous mandates from the EPA to cut pollution from power plants (Clean Power Plan), he challenged EPA regulations on fracking and publicly opposed clean water regulations (Clean Water Rule).
Thus, only time will tell if Pruitt’s motives as leader of the EPA to be “both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment” will actually come into fruition. One thing’s for sure, he could feed two birds with one seed if he supports peer-to-peer energy markets.