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Kentucky Governor Says Trump Should Transition EPA Responsibilities to States

WASHINGTON – Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin told PJM she would like to know how the environmental activists protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline plan to “heat their homes.”

Fallin said she is “thrilled” that President Trump has given the “go-ahead” for the Keystone XL Pipeline project to come from Canada down to Oklahoma.

“We already had the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline from Oklahoma down to the Gulf Coast because it was able to be completed in previous years and now we have the ability to have it all the way from Canada throughout the United States on down to the coast, which will move certainly more of our crude production throughout the United States and possibly even to other areas around the nation,” she said during an interview at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington.

Fallin was asked for her response to the environmental concerns surrounding the project.

“I think all of us are very concerned and want to be good stewards of land, water and air, and certainly we want to do things to protect those things, but we also have to have energy to live and to be able to have low-cost energy in our nation,” she said. “So doing everything that we can to make sure it’s safe and make sure that we take the appropriate precautions, make sure that we deal appropriately with federal authorities and state authorities to work together in cooperation – I think that’s essential moving forward.”

Reacting to the continued protests over the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, Fallin said, “Well, I’d like to know how they are going to heat their homes.”

Fallin challenged the protesters to think about how they want to buy their gasoline in America right now.

“Once again, we want to have the ability to power our homes at a reasonable cost. We want to hopefully reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And so I think people need to think about that: Do you want to buy your crude production, your gas in America, or do you want to buy it from a foreign country?” she said. “And if we can protect the environment as much as possible, safely as much as possible, yet also have reasonable cost of power in our nation, I think those are things people need to consider.”

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin addressed President Trump’s plan to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The Obama administration described the Clean Power Plan as the “first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants that will protect the health of our children and put our nation on the path toward a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030.”

Bevin told PJM the plan would hurt the U.S. economy in its current form.

“It would hurt America economically – think about it, it would. There’s nowhere in the world we are more safe as it relates to energy production, consumption than in the United States, literally, the safety record is better here than anywhere in the world. The environmental impact is less here than anywhere in the world. I would defy anyone to show differently. I mean, the reality is we have pioneered on these fronts. We have set the gold standard on this front,” Bevin said.

“But because we’ve now suffocated our ability to actually take advantage of those things we pioneered and the advantages that we have, the irony is that the world is being polluted by and people’s safety is being compromised by countries where they don’t have the same standard. The energy is still being produced. The irony is it’s being produced somewhere. People still want the light to come on when they flip the switch,” he added.

Bevin said he would like to see “devolution” of responsibly from the EPA back to the states across-the-board.

“There’s no state, Democrat or Republican alike, that wants dirty water or dirty air for their people. There’s nobody who wants an uneducated workforce. There’s nobody who wants an unhealthy populace,” Bevin said at the NGA meeting.

“So if they don’t want those things regardless of their ideology, then why would we not give responsibility back to the states where people care the most, have the most immediate responsibility and the greatest ability to take ownership of and effect change on that area? Why would we not do that?” he added. “We’re sending money to Washington and then taking some dimes of that money back after filtering it through bureaucracy so we have less to work with, and it’s not effective.”

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