Meet the Four Republican Lawmakers Who Want to Abolish the EPA

Image: A coal-fired power plant near Center, North Dakota, in 2008
A coal-fired power plant near Center, North Dakota, in 2008.Tom Stromme / AP

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By Avalon Zoppo

President Donald Trump has big changes in store for the Environmental Protection Agency — from slashing $800 million from its funding to cutting back on regulations. But one lawmaker wants to go a step further and abolish the agency altogether.

A coal-fired power plant near Center, North Dakota, in 2008.Tom Stromme / AP

On Feb. 3, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, introduced a bill in the House that would terminate the EPA by the end of 2018.

The bill comes two months after Trump appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the agency — picking an ally of the fossil fuel industry who has long been skeptical of climate change and has filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA.

In addition to Gaetz, here are the Republican sponsors, most of whom cite job creation as their main objective.

Matt Gaetz

Gaetz, a freshman, took aim at the EPA in a leaked email, obtained by The Huffington Post, saying Americans are "drowning in regulations" enforced by the agency.

"Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans," Gaetz wrote in the email, which was circulated among possible co-sponsors.

If enacted, the bill would will give power back to the states and local governments, Gaetz said.

"To better protect the environment we should abolish the EPA and downstream resources to states for more effective & efficient protection," Gaetz said in a Facebook post Friday.

Gaetz's track record with the EPA is not a friendly one. For years, he pushed to repeal a state law that required all gasoline sold in Florida to contain a certain percentage of ethanol.

As a state lawmaker, Gaetz previously came under fire for To%20all%20who%20will%20kneel%20during%20the%20anthem%20today%20-%20just%20remember%20how%20Jose%20Fernandez%20risked%20his%20life%20just%20for%20the%20chance%20to%20stand%20for%20it