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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Newly minted Alabama Senator Luther Strange (R) heaped praise on President Donald Trump’s executive actions to roll back Obama-era restrictions on greenhouse gasses.

He says the EPA exceeded its authority with regulations that he describes as being overly burdensome for businesses. As for whether or not the regulations are needed to help combat climate change, Senator Strange says it’s not an either-or choice.

As Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange filed a number of lawsuits and amicus briefs challenging EPA regulations, often alongside a then-colleague of his and Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt, who is now the EPA Administrator.

He tells WHNT News 19, “My primary concern when I was Attorney General was that the EPA exceeded its authority in going beyond the authority granted it by congress.”

As for the climate change justification for those rules, Senator Strange says, “I think when you get drug out into the climate change debate, you’re really kind of wasting time. What we need to be doing is making sure we’re keeping the environment as safe as we possibly can without punishing hard-working American citizens.”

President Trump has often referred to climate change as a hoax.

We asked Senator Strange: Do you think climate change is real? Just yes or no?

He responded, “Well, I think the climate changes every day. You get into the debate of what is climate change and everything else, is it man-made, is it not, I’m going to leave that to the scientists and try to make sure the decisions we make are based on hard evidence. You know, the weather man can hardly predict what the weather’s going to be day after tomorrow. We’re talking about the entire economy of the United States. So we just need to be very careful, insist on the best science and make the right decisions. But again going back to what I said originally, there’s no reason we can’t have the best environmental rules in the world but also have a strong domestic energy economy. I don’t think they’re exclusive, and I think that’s where we’re headed.”