A Scott Pruitt-led U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would place an emphasis on following the letter of the law including the Renewable Fuel Standard and providing clarity on a federal definition of navigable waters, in what the nominee told a Senate committee Wednesday would be a return to cooperative federalism with the states. Though agriculture interests were alarmed by the total maximum daily load, or TMDL, implemented in the Chesapeake Bay by basin states and led by the Obama EPA, Pruitt told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee the nutrients-reduction effort in the region is an example of how cooperative federalism should work. That is, states in the region put together and implemented a nutrients-reduction plan that has, in fact, reduced nutrients flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. At one point during the hearing Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pressed Pruitt to agree climate change is caused by human activity. When asked by Democratic senators whether he agrees with President-elect Donald Trump's opinion that climate change is a hoax, Pruitt answered no. Pruitt questioned whether there is consensus on climate science, but Pruitt also said EPA has an important role regulating emissions. Pruitt's answer still wasn't enough for Sanders who declared he would not vote for Pruitt's confirmation. In his prepared statement to the committee, Pruitt said he would return the agency back to its core mission established by Congress.