Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower on December 7, 2016 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower on December 7, 2016 in New York City.
Now playing
02:35
Who is Scott Pruitt?
Now playing
01:26
Sarah Sanders: I was kicked out of restaurant
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks on migrant children being separated from parents at the southern border during a White House daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Nielsen joined White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at the daily news briefing to answer questions from members of the White House Press Corps.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks on migrant children being separated from parents at the southern border during a White House daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Nielsen joined White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at the daily news briefing to answer questions from members of the White House Press Corps.
Now playing
01:18
Protesters confront Secy. Nielsen at restaurant
Richard Grenell, nominee to be US ambassador to Germany, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Richard Grenell, nominee to be US ambassador to Germany, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:42
US envoy remarks to Brietbart provoke backlash
KANAB, UT - MAY 10: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke talks to reporters before departing Kanab Airport on May 10, 2017 in Kanab, Utah. Zinke has been in the state of Utah since Sunday talking with state and local officials and touring the Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to help determine their future status under the Trump Administration. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images
KANAB, UT - MAY 10: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke talks to reporters before departing Kanab Airport on May 10, 2017 in Kanab, Utah. Zinke has been in the state of Utah since Sunday talking with state and local officials and touring the Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to help determine their future status under the Trump Administration. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:41
Zinke claims to be geologist, again
CNN
Now playing
02:39
All the Trump officials who threatened to quit
CIA nominee Gina Haspel is sworn in during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP
CIA nominee Gina Haspel is sworn in during a confirmation hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in Washington. (AP/Alex Brandon)
Now playing
02:33
Haspel balks on morality of torture program
Getty Images
Now playing
02:26
Trump's Cabinet faces travel scrutiny
david jolly
CNN
david jolly
Now playing
00:46
Ex-lawmaker rips Trump's 'first-rate grifters'
US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson speaks to employees on his first day at the Department of Housing and Urban Development March 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson speaks to employees on his first day at the Department of Housing and Urban Development March 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:58
Complaint filed over Carson's office expenses
david jolly
CNN
david jolly
Now playing
00:58
Jolly: No accountability in this administration
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delivers a speech billed as "A Vision for American Energy Dominance" at the Heritage Foundation on September 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke delivers a speech billed as "A Vision for American Energy Dominance" at the Heritage Foundation on September 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:11
Interior secretary's trips may have violated law
Now playing
00:46
Trump: I'm not undercutting Tillerson
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Now playing
03:10
Bannon out as White House chief strategist
petersen nominee 02
Senate TV
petersen nominee 02
Now playing
02:25
Trump nominee can't answer basic law questions
Assistant to the US President Donald Trump Anthony Scaramucci takes part in a meeting on the theme "Monetary Policy: Where Will Things Land?" on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, on January 17, 2017 in Davos.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Assistant to the US President Donald Trump Anthony Scaramucci takes part in a meeting on the theme "Monetary Policy: Where Will Things Land?" on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, on January 17, 2017 in Davos.
Now playing
02:34
Scaramucci: Priebus a 'paranoid schizophrenic'

Story highlights

Jeb Bush: In 2016, the American people were clamoring for a dramatic shift of power

He says Scott Pruitt is the right choice to head the EPA

Editor’s Note: Jeb Bush is the former governor of Florida and was a candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2016. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN) —  

When Scott Pruitt and I assembled a Restoring Federalism Task Force last year, he headlined the plan: “Putting Washington In Its Place.” Those five words sum up exactly what the American people were clamoring for in this election: a dramatic shift of power out of a broken Washington and back into the hands of the people.

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush

I cannot think of a person more suited to lead the Environmental Protection Agency than Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, someone who understands how to rein in an out-of-control bureaucracy and ensure that Washington focuses solely on its core functions.

Pruitt and I share a common vision for empowering the states and limiting the intrusion of the federal government in every area of our lives. He understands that a government closest to the people is best able to serve their interests.

Our country has been held back over the past eight years because the appropriate balance between federal and state powers has become totally skewed. Individual liberty and our constitutional order have been threatened. People’s aspirations have been capped by a federal government that overextended its reach, and in no place has this been more apparent than at the EPA. The EPA has become a one-agency job killer, putting working people out of a job and increasing costs for everyone.

The far left has tried to distort Pruitt’s views in a lame attempt to make him into an anti-science boogeyman. The Scott Pruitt I know is far from it. Unlike liberals who want to shut down any rational debate about climate change, Pruitt has acknowledged human impact on the climate and supports a robust discussion about its effects and what the government should and shouldn’t do to address it.

In a 2013 speech, Pruitt demonstrated that he understood the proper role of the EPA, completely repudiating Democrats’ ludicrous claims about how he would lead the agency:

“May I say this to you and please hear my heart on this. … It’s not good for us to say that the EPA doesn’t have any role. Because just think about it, you have a power plant in Arkansas that’s burning coal irresponsibly or inconsistent with the statue, and it comes over to Oklahoma and Texas. So there is a role for the EPA, it’s just that they assert themselves in ways that are above that role.”

At the EPA, Pruitt will balance the importance of protecting our environment – ensuring clean air and water and being good stewards of our natural resources – with maximizing the ability of free people to innovate and create without interference from the federal government.

Get our free weekly newsletter

I know Pruitt will be successful because I went through this process firsthand running for governor in Florida. Many Democrats claimed that my views were extreme and that I would ruin our beautiful and unique habitat. What they found was exactly the opposite. Applying conservative principles, we streamlined the bureaucracy, saved the state money and invested in Florida’s environment, including setting out on a historic effort to restore America’s Everglades – something the federal government had failed to do.

This model can be replicated in Washington under an Administrator Scott Pruitt. He will put long overdue limits on the rule makers and roll back those that are choking economic growth. He will ensure that we conserve our natural habitats and resources, while unleashing an energy revolution that will bring millions of jobs to our country.

There have been several strong appointments by President-Elect Donald Trump, and Scott Pruitt is among the very best because I know he will pursue meaningful reforms that will improve people’s lives. I hope all senators can put partisanship aside and resoundingly confirm this proven leader.