POTUS signed WOTUS executive order in the Roosevelt Room. He first spoke briefly at a podium, mentioning his EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, before sitting down at a small table to sign the order.
"We are going to free up our country and it's going to be done in a very environmental and positive environmental way, I will tell you that. Create millions of jobs. So many jobs are delayed for so many years and it's so unfair so I want to congratulate Scott."
"I want to thank everyone for being here today. We have a great group of farmers, home builders and county commissioners. They're all represented. They're standing along side of me. I also want to thank Jim Inhofe who is terrific in so many different ways. Beyond even this. So I want to thank Jim and the leadership in the Senate. A great friend of mine, a great friend of mine, John Barrasso."
"EPA's so-called waters of the United States rule is one of the worst examples of federal regulation and it's truly run amok and it's one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they are supposed to be doing. Been a disaster."
"The ... act says the EPA can regulate navigable waters meaning waters that truly affect interstate commerce. A few years ago the EPA decided that navigable waters can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land or anywhere else that they decide. It was a massive power grab. EPA regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands and regulations and permits starting treating our wonderful small farmers and small businesses as if they were major industrial polluters. They treated them horribly, horribly. If you want to build a new home for example you have to worry about being hit with a huge fine if you fill in a puddle, just a puddle. I've seen it....In one case in Wyoming, a rancher was fined $37,000 a day by the EPA for digging a small watering hole...his land. These abuses are why such incredible opposition to this rule from the hundreds of organizations took place in all 50 states. It's a horrible, horrible rule. It was a nice name but everything else is bad. I've been hearing about it for years and years. I didn't know necessarily I would be in a position to do something about it but we've been hearing about it for years."
"With today's executive order, I am directing the EPA to take action, paving the way for the elimination of this very disruptive and horrible rule. So I want to thank everybody for being here. And I will sign wherever I'm supposed to sign. There we are. Thank you very much."
Please check quotes against transcript.
He was surrounded by about 25 people, including VPOTUS and First Lady Melania Trump.
White House passes along this list of attendees:
John Barrasso (EPW Chair)
Pat Roberts (Ag Chair)
John Boozman (Water Subcommittee Chair)
Bill Shuster (T and I Chair)
Bob Gibbs (introduced WOTUS bill)
- Commissioner Bryan Desloge (Leon County, FL) NACo President
- Supervisor Gregory Cox (San Diego County, CA) NACo Leadership
- Commissioner Roy Brooks (Tarrant County, TX) NACo Leadership
- Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt (Forsyth County, NC)
- Commissioner Diane Jones (Kent County, MI)
- Supervisor Melvyn House (Pottawattamie County, IA)
- Commissioner Terence Farrell (Chester County, PA)
- Commissioner Christian Leinbach (Berk County, PA)
- Commissioner Rob Arlett (Sussex County, DE) Trump State Chair
- Commissioner Rose Pudliese (Mesa County, CO)
- Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez (El Paso County, CO)
- Matt Chase (Executive Director, NACo)
- Zippy Duval (American Farm Bureau President)
- Granger MacDonald, Chairman of the board of the National Assoc of Homebuilders
Pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room at 2:33 and out at 2:28 pm.