EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt previews new executive order

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt tells "This Week" the president will sign a new executive order aimed at eliminating the Clean Power Plan.
7:05 | 03/26/17

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Transcript for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt previews new executive order
We are preparing new executive action to save our coal industry. Scott Pruitt, a Kentucky native, will turn the EPA environmental -- will turn the EPA from a job killer into a job creator. You watch. The president in Kentucky previewing the new executive order he'll sign the this week to relax regulations on power plants. His latest move to undo president Obama's environmental initiatives. We're join bid the man he's put in charge of the effect, the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt. Mr. Pruitt, thank you for joining us this morning. George, good morning. Is the ek tech pif order coming this week? What will the president be proposing? George, the president is keeping his promise to the American people. This week. With respect to the executive order coming down on Tuesday. The energy Independence executive order. We need a pro-groet and pro-environment approach. For too long, we have accepted a narrative that if you're pro-growth, pro-jobs, you're anti--environment. That's not where we have been as a country. We have made tremendous choices on our environment. The executive order will address the past administration's efforts to kill jobs throughout the country. This order is likely to face legal challenges. Coal jobs have been declining for a long time. We heard the president's promise. Most of the job loss predates the Obama initiative. The biggest drops came over a decade ago. You have about the same number of coal jobs now as you Dade decade ago. Are you worried that the president is making a promise that he just can't keep? It's not just the short term, George. It's the long term. The past administration had a very anti-fossil fuel strategy. He's saying we can put people back to work and be pro-environment as well. His clean power plant is likely unlawful. There's been a stay against it. Our action starting on Tuesday, shortly after the executive order will make sure whatever steps we take in the future will be pro-growth, pro-environment. Within the framework of the clean air act. It will be legal. But will it bring back coal jobs? I think absolutely it will. It will bring back manufacturing jobs, coal jobs across the country. Across the energy sector, we have so much opportunity. The last administration wanted to keep it in the ground. We need to more more independent. This is an opportunity. This past week, the president approved the keystone pipeline. It's transforatiportation issues. The jobs are across the economy. If the president follows through on this and the order to revee reverse vehicle pollution rules, there is no way to stay with the French agreement. The message they, the trump administration is sending to the rest of the world is that they don't believe climate change is serious. It's shocking to see such a degree of ignorance from the United States. Your response? George, we're actually at pre1994 levels right now with respect to our co 2 footprint. Why is hat? Largely because of innovation and technology in the coal sector and the natural gas sector. Horizontal drilling, much more conversion to natural gas to electric electricity. Not just jobs will be created. It's lower electricity rates for coop Sumers. When you take coal generation facilities, natural gas facilitiesing and put them aside, it's causing double-digit increases across the country. It's not good on the consumer and manufacturing side. I was asking about the Paris climate agreement. Don't these initiatives mean the agreement is a dead letter. The Paris accord is nonbinding. It was not a treaty, as such. The clean power plan is not tetered to the Paris accords. This is an effort to undo the unlawful approach the previous administration engaged in and do it right going forward. With the mind set of being pro-growth and pro environment. Can we achieve the agreement of the Paris climate agreement? Since 1980, a 65% reduction of -- we have done great work as a country striking the balance between jobs and our environment. The past administration took steps that were anti-jobs and anti-growth. The California acted this week to tighten pollution standards. Going in the opposite direction from what president trump is proposing. A headline from yesterday's "New York Times." Do you plan to let that stand? What we should be doing. You mentioned the cafe standards. The last week and half, the president and I were in Detroit announcing we were going to keep our word as a country to re-evaluate those in April 2018. We ought to focus on fuel efficiency for cars people want to buy. This process of building cars that no one purchases in order to meet these standards that were previously set is counter counterhelpful. People don't buy the new cars. They keep older cars. We'll be evaluating that through spril of 2018. The cafe standard and the clean power plant and the executive order sends a message to the American people that we're going to do what we can to produce jobs and growth and be sensitive to the environment and reintroduce common sense into the discussion. You mentioned the pair accord. What was wrong with Paris was not just that it was failed to be treated as a treaty. But China and India got away scot-free. They didn't have to take steps until 2030. We penalized ourselves through lost jobs while China and India didn't take steps to address the issue internationally. Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation. But, we're trying to focus on getting thing right here domestically. Operating within the frame work of the clean air act. Thank you for your time this morning. Thank you,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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