By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, June 7,2017, US Senator Luther Strange announced that he is proud of the effort made by President Trump to loosen air quality standards making compliance within reach for the states. Senator Strange said in a statement, “It is not only possible, but critical, that we allow local economies to thrive while continuing to improve air quality, and I am proud of the initiative taken by President Trump and Administrator Pruitt to refocus the EPA on its original priorities. As a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, I am committed to working with my colleagues, like Senator Capito, to deliver a regulatory framework that allows American producers to succeed.”
Sen. Strange’s statement following a letter from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to the US governors announcing a change to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) compliance deadline.
Senator Strange praised what he called: the Trump administration’s continued efforts to apply common sense updates to the Clean Air Act.
The EPA letter provides a one-year extension of the deadline for states to comply with the 2015 iteration of NAAQS ozone rules, lifting the penalties faced by jurisdictions that fail to implement the most recent standards on top of existing 2008 requirements.
Strange is also a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017. The bill, introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), would help states comply with NAAQS standards by eliminating overlapping requirements and extending the mandatory review period of revised NAAQS standards from 5 to 10 years.
On Sunday, June 11, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt attended a meeting of the G7’s top environmental officials in Italy. Pruitt attended the first four hours of the two day conference and then left for DC citing the need to attend a Monday cabinet meeting. The other members of the G7 were upset with President Trump’s decisions to withdraw from the controversial Paris Accords, a decision which Pruitt defends. The Paris Accords were never ratified by the Senate and thus are not binding on Trump’s Administration.
Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate by then Governor Robert Bentley after Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed as US Attorney General.
Strange is running to finish Sessions’ term in the Special Election.
Ten Republicans are running for the US Senate race as Republicans. According to the Alabama Republican Party, the following individuals submitted qualifying paperwork to run for the US Senate seat: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Dom Gentile, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange. Karen Haiden Jackson was disqualified by the Alabama Republican Party because she had run as an independent in a judicial race last year.
Eight candidates qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party to run in the US Senate Special Primary Election. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Brian McGee, and Nana Tchienkou.
The special major party primaries are on August 15. The Special General Election will be on December 12, 2017.