Hopefully, post-Pruitt, de-regulation will continue

There is a general opinion among many business/industry institutions and leaders that it is federal regulation, and not the prevailing economy, that have the most negative impact on their fields. Markets are, after all, driven by market forces that can often be predicted and that follow some rhyme and reason.

Regulation, on the other hand, is not market driven and follows no identifiable line of reason. One would like to think that industry regulation was in response to obvious need and achieves obvious, measurable results. History teaches us otherwise. History shows us that regulation is more about the political goals of the regulators and the politicians who keep them employed.

There seems little question that now former-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had built up considerable baggage, most unrelated to his actual responsibilities. That baggage made him another liability to the Trump administration and thus Pruitt had to go. One might make an argument for him to remain, but the counter argument is a strong one nevertheless.

But while it is time for Pruitt to go, hopefully the impetus of his efforts continues.

Pruitt has been the key figure in rolling back environmental, energy and agriculture regulation that had become prohibitive to energy and agriculture, two areas in which regulation has been onerous to North Dakota industry. His critics will claim that he has been overzealous in rolling back regulations, but those critics rarely have any line items on their resumes citing actual experience working in those fields. Instead, they are political activists specializing in regulating industries to which they have no actual exposure.

It might be time for Pruitt to go, but hopefully his efforts continue, as pointed out by ND Congressman Kevin Cramer. “Administrator Pruitt sought balance in carrying out the mission of environmental protection while looking out for our economy and job creation,” Cramer said in a release following Pruitt’s resignation. “I commend his efforts to refocus EPA to its original purpose under cooperative federalism. I am confident Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will successfully lead the agency.”

Minot Daily News hopes that Mr. Cramer is correct, that Mr. Wheeler is up to the job and that the EPA can move on to the better, less Draconian path, upon which Pruitt set it. Our state’s economy depends on it.

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