Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt

Credentials

  • Juris Doctor (J.D.), University of Tulsa College of Law (1990-1993). [1]
  • Bachelor's Degree, Political Science and Communications (1990). [1]

Background

E. Scott Pruitt served as the 14th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump Administration until resigning in July 2018 following a series of ethics scandals. Pruitt formerly served as the Oklahoma Attorney General, a position he held since November, 2010. [2], [162][74], [75], [76]

While Attorney General, Pruitt established the “first federalism unit to combat unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government.” Pruitt's profile at The Federalist Society, where he is listed as an expert, notes that Pruitt has been described as “one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors.” He has been a “advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda, and he is leading the charge against the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan and 'Waters of the U.S.' rules for their unlawful attempt to displace state sovereignty in the environmental regulatory context.” [3], [4]

According to data from Followthemoney.org, Pruitt has collected at least $345,246 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry since 2002. E&E News writes that Pruitt raised $282,111 from oil and gas interests over four state campaigns. Only lawyers and lobbyists gave more, at $298,717. [5][6]

Pruitt was the subject of a 2014 New York Times investigation titled ”Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General” which described “the unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation's top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.” [7]

Scott Pruitt has a history of opposing to the EPA. In 2011, after the Obama administration issued Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in order to reduce mercury emissions, Pruitt responded by issuing a number of lawsuits, including one that is ongoing. Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times, including many cases which oppose emissions reductions under the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan. “In all but one of these 14 cases, regulated industry players also were parties. And these companies or trade associations in 13 of these cases were also financial contributors to Mr. Pruitt's political causes,” The New York Times reported. [49], [22]

    Controversies & Ethics Questions

    In late March 2018, ABC News first reported that Pruitt had stayed in a condo owned by the wife of top energy lobbyist Steve Hart during much of his first year in Washington. A Bloomberg report said Pruitt paid $50 a night for a single bedroom, but for only the nights he slept there. The White House proceeded to launch a formal inquiry into Pruitt's living arrangement, which could present an ethics issue for Pruitt. [115], [116], [123]

    Steve Hart's lobbying firm, Williams and Jensen, has lobbied on issues including the “the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), approval of LNG exports and export facilities.” [115]

    Cheniere Energy Inc., the only active liquid natural gas export plant in the US at the time, gave Hart's form $80,000 in 2017. LNG exports were on the agenda for Pruitt's December 2017 trip to Morocco. According to the EPA press release, Pruitt promoted “the potential benefit of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports on Morocco’s economy.” [115][117]

    A subsequent internal ethics investigation endorsed the living agreement, however outside ethics experts told ABC News that the rushed ruling was problematic: [118]

    This ethics opinion is highly unusual and problematic in many respects,” said Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

    It is not regular practice, and not okay, for a situation that presents the clear possibility of a conflict of interest to be evaluated and approved by an ethics officer after the fact when the story comes out publicly, rather than beforehand,” Bookbinder said. “Second, on the substance, there are many problems with the logic of the opinion.”

    While Pruitt has said that J. Steven Hart had no lobbying business with the EPAThe New York Times reported that the EPA had approved a pipeline expansion plan for a Canadian energy company represented by Hart's lobbying firm at the same time that Pruitt was renting the condominium. Both the EPA and Hart's lobbying firm denied any connection between the condo rental and the action: [124]

    Any attempt to draw that link is patently false,” Liz Bowman, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pruitt, said in a written statement.

    Pruitt has faced a number of other controversies. For example, The Washington Post reported that Pruitt knew of and approved of a plan to grant large raises to two of his aides, while Pruitt later said in a Fox News interview he had only found out about the raises the day before and conceded the raises “should not have happened.” The Atlantic reported Pruitt bypassed the White House, which declined the raises, and had gone through an obscure provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act to pay for the wage increases. [119], [120], [121]

    It’s a complete coincidence that Pruitt went behind the White House’s back and used this in the most unethical way possible, just as the [inspector general] starts asking questions,” one EPA staffer told The Atlantic. “Now they just have to connect the dots.” [122]

    Pruitt's travel and office expenditures have also faced scrutiny. News sources including The New York Times have reported that staffers who questioned Pruitt's spending were reassigned, demoted, or requested new jobs after they raised concerns. [125]

    Among items that Pruitt requested: [126]

    • Two new desks totaling $2,075 (granted) and requested a bulletproof security desk that would have cost $70,000 (not granted).
    • First class, military, and charter flights totaling more than $163,000 in his first year. [127]
    • Sought a $100,000-per-month charter aircraft membership, which The New York Times wrote would allow him to “take unlimited private jet trips for official business.” The membership was not purchased. [125]
    • A bulletproof SUV with run-flat tires that would allow it to continue driving after sustaining gunfire (not purchased). [126]
    • $43,000 secure, soundproof phone booth for his office. [128]
    • A 24-hour security detail that followed him on personal trips including Disneyland and the Rose Bowl. The security detail's salaries could cost at least $2 million per year, CNN reported. [129]

    After the controversies, President Trump voiced support for Pruitt, saying he is doing a “great job,” and “under seige,” Politico reported. [130]

    Do you believe that the Fake News Media is pushing hard on a story that I am going to replace A.G. Jeff Sessions with EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, who is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege?” the president wrote. “Do people really believe this stuff? So much of the media is dishonest and corrupt!”

    Pruitt has also received support from climate change deniers and groups including Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who described the controversies as “little messes.” Marc Morano went on Fox News, where he described Pruitt as “a marked man in Washington” while he praised Pruitt's decision to roll back fuel economy and emissions standards for vehicles. [131], [132]

    An April 18, 2018 press release from the U.S. House of Representatives reported that the investigations into Pruitt's spending was growing substantially, including investigations from The House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budge, Government Accountability Office, and the EPA Inspector General. [137]

    Pruitt's EPA Nomination

    Pruitt was confirmed as administrator of the EPA on February 17, 2017. Pruitt's initial committee confirmation vote was to take place on February 1, 2017, but the vote was delayed when Democrats boycotted the planned vote.  [74], [75], [76][71]

    When President-elect Donald Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to serve as administrator of the U.S. EPADeSmog how Pruitt's history working with oil, gas, and utility companies could affect his confirmation. [8], [9]

    In 2015, Pruitt, as Oklahoma's AG, filed suit against the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, the regulation that would curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Assisting Pruitt were attorneys from BakerHostetler, one of the nation’s largest law firms.

    It’s a safe assumption that Pruitt could be the most hostile E.P.A. administrator toward clean air and safe drinking water in history,” Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group, told the New York Times in December 2016. [8]

    Two of the BakerHostetler attorneys joining Pruitt, David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, recently established the Free Speech in Science Project to defend companies and groups over their climate science denial. The group arose shortly after investigations began into ExxonMobil’s knowledge and actions relating to climate change. A few months after the group launched, Pruitt signed a letter, along with other Republican attorneys general, to counter the climate fraud investigations of fossil fuel companies. 

    Pruitt received strong support for his confirmation from industry groups and think thanks opposing climate change action including The Heartland Institute, American Energy Alliance (AEA), and others. In a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF), numerous groups declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination.” Signatories of the letter included: [70]

    The Republican Attorneys General Association and the Rule of Law Defense Fund

    Pruitt is a former chair and member of The Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), a secretive group that actively fought against the Clean Power Plan. While the RLDF's funding remains largely unknown, Bloomberg reports that it received funding from Freedom Partners, a group tied to Charles and David Koch. Pruitt stepped down shortly before his selection by Trump to head the EPA was announced and resigned as a board member in December, 2016. [10], [11]

    According to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), The RLDF is a 501(C)(4) organization and is not required to publicly disclose its sources of funding. RLDF was created in 2014 by the Republican Attorneys General Association and shares staff and offices. [12], [13]

    The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) has received almost $4 million in funding from fossil fuel interests since 2014. In 2015, RAGA had secretive meetings with energy companies Murray Energy and Southern Company, which Bloomberg noted coincided closely with large contributions from both energy companies. Shortly after that meeting, Republican attorneys general went on to fight the EPA's Clean Power Plan in court. [14], [15]

    CMD notes how RAGA lets corporations get close to attorneys general and their staff: [16]

    “Corporations can pay a premium rate RAGA membership fee of up to $125,000 for the privilege of holding private briefings with attorneys general and their staff, as well as attending the annual meeting. The conference provides ample opportunity for attorneys general to directly solicit campaign contributions from corporate representatives during private meetings, informal conversations and leisure activities—like kayaking, a five-hour golf game, and a National Rifle Association-sponsored shooting tournament.”

    Politico reported that shortly before Pruitt's confirmation hearing, a new secretive Super PAC emerged calling itself Protecting America Now. Politico writes: [17]

    “The new group, Protecting America Now, warns that Pruitt’s confirmation “is not a certainty” and says that millions of dollars are needed for advertising and social media campaigns to counter anti-Pruitt campaigning from “anti-business, environmental extremists,” according to a flier obtained by POLITICO.

    Politico also reported on two other PACs, formed in 2015, both supporting Pruitt. E&E News details the background of Liberty 2.0 and Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC, noting that “The Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC is able to accept limited donations and coordinate with Pruitt, enabling the Oklahoma attorney general to funnel money to preferred political candidates across the country. The downtown Tulsa address is the same as that of Pruitt's campaign office.” [6]

    Two other groups, America Rising PAC and America Rising Squared, also ran ads supporting Pruitt's nomination in red states with Democratic senators and also launched the ConfirmPruitt.com website. [18]

    Scott Pruitt's Fossil Fuel Ties

    DeSmog mapped Scott Pruitt's fossil fuel ties and tracked groups connected to Pruitt and his confirmation hearings: [19]

    Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

    While still a state representative, Scott Pruitt formerly chaired the ALEC Civil Justice task force. [20] He described ALEC in a 2013 interview: [21]

    ALEC is unique in the sense that it puts legislators and companies together and they create policy collectively. The actual stakeholders who are affected by policy aren’t at the table as much as they should be […] Serving with them is very beneficial, in my opinion.”

    After becoming attorney general, Pruitt spoke at a number of ALEC events including a 2013 panel titled “Embracing American Energy Opportunities: From Wellheads to Pipelines” and in ALEC's 2014 annual meeting

    Legal Actions against  the EPA

    Pruitt has filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA, as reported in a review by the New York Times“In all but one of these 14 cases, regulated industry players also were parties. And these companies or trade associations in 13 of these cases were also financial contributors to Mr. Pruitt's political causes,” The New York Times reported. Case list below: [22]

    • EPA's Regional Haze Rule (2011)
    • Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) (2011)
    • Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants (MATS) (2012)
    • Alleged EPA violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (2013)
    • Regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (2014)
    • Draft rule of the Clean Power Plan (2014)
    • Clean Power Plan (July 2015)
    • Clean Power Plan (August 2015)
    • Clean Power Plan (June 2016)
    • Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants (MATS) (2015)
    • Waters of the United States (WOTUS) (2015)
    • National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (2015)
    • Methane Emissions (2016)
    • Startup, Shutdown and Malfunction and Scheduled Maintenance (SSM & SM) State Implementation Plan (2016)
    • Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed and Modified Sources (2016)

    Stance on Climate Change

    February 2018

    Pruitt expanded on his views on climate change. In an interview with KSNV TV in Nevada, Pruitt claimed that global warming could beneficial: [108]

    “I mean, we know that humans have most flourished during times of what, warming trends? I mean, so I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing. […]” [108]

    January, 2017

    Scott Pruitt was questioned on his positions regarding climate change at his EPA confirmation hearing. In response to a question from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Pruitt stated: [23]

    The climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. It is the ability to measure it and the extent of that impact, and what to do about it that is subject to continued debate and dialogue.”

    Later in the hearing, further responding to questions from Sanders, Pruitt proclaimed that his personal opinion on the matter of climate change was “immaterial” to serving as the EPA administrator[48]

    According to The Independent, Pruitt contradicted Donald Trump's claim that climate change was a hoax: [24]

    “I do not believe climate change is a hoax,” Mr Pruitt said.

    In his opening remarks, Pruitt stated (see video below):

    “Science tells us that the climate is changing, and that human activity in some manner impacts that change. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue, and well it should be.” [48]

    May, 2016

    In an article Pruitt co-wrote with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in the National Review, they declared: [25]

    “That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”

    April, 2015

    In a 2015 Financial Times interview, Scott Pruitt said that humanity’s contribution to global warming was “subject to considerable debate.” After being told that 97 per cent of scientists endorsed the idea that humans had caused climate change, he said: “Where does that fit with the statutory framework? That’s not material at all. So that’s why I don’t focus on it.” [26]

    Stance on Abortion

    HuffPost reported that in the late 1990s, while an Oklahoma senator, Pruitt twice introduced a bill that would give men “property rights” over unborn fetuses. The bill required women to obtain a father's permission before aborting a pregnancy. [157]

    It’s not surprising that another member of Trump’s inner circle is hostile to women,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, a senior director at the progressive American Bridge PAC, which opposes Pruitt and supports abortion rights. “But framing a fetus as a man’s property is a new low.”

    While his current position in the Trump Administration does not relate to abortion policy, he has regularly appeared alongside Trump to meet with evangelical leaders, and reportedly receives support from right-wing evangelical Christians. HuffPost previously reported this could be one of the reasons that Trump hasn’t fired Pruitt, despite numerous controversies. [158]

    Key Quotes

    October 20, 2017

    In an interview at the The Heritage Foundation’s annual President’s Club meeting in Washington, Pruitt declared: [104]

    “True environmentalism from my perspective is using natural resources that God has blessed us with […]”

    November 30, 2017

    Speaking at the “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit,” co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation, Pruitt said President Donald Trump was “very courageous” for exiting the Paris agreement: [103]

    “There was tremendous pressure brought on the President to stay in that, by the way, for no good environmental reason. It was a bumper sticker. Paris was a bumper sticker. It was not about CO2 reduction. It was about penalizing our own economy. And I could give you some information about that if you’d like, but the President made a very courageous decision to exit.” 

    September 7, 2017

    In a phone interview with CNN about Hurricane Irma, Pruitt said that it wasn't the time to talk about climate change. [92]

    “Here's the issue,” Pruitt said in the phone interview. “To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced.”

    He continued, adding, “What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. […] Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there's the […] place (and time) to do that, it's not now.”

    Shortly after, Myron Ebell came to Pruitt's defense, writing at The Hill that “Pruitt is of course absolutely right to focus on government action rather than idle chatter, but that has not dissuaded global warming activists and even some elected officials from trying to take political advantage of these two huge storms to promote their pet cause — policies to limit the use of fossil fuels.” [93]

    May 26, 2016

    Testifying (PDF) before a Congressional committee on why he sued the EPA under the Obama administration, Pruitt said: [27], [28]

    “The EPA was never intended to be our nation’s foremost environmental regulator. The states were to have regulatory primacy. That construct –a construct put in place by this body – has been turned upside down by this administration. That’s why I’m here today. I’d like to explain to you why I so jealously guard Oklahoma’s sovereign prerogative to regulate in both a sensible and sensitive way.”

    July, 2014

    Speaking at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) 2014 Annual Meeting, Pruitt declared: [29]

    “Beyond the regional haze case, we have something on the horizon something more troubling. And that’s the proposed rule under 111(d) with respect to CO2 regulation. We have an EPA that is engaged in rulemaking, proposed rulemaking, that seeks to exert itself in a way that the statute doesn’t authorize at all.”

    October, 2012

    Scott Pruitt among others signed a suit filed against the EPA's regulation of mercury pollution from power plants (PDF). In the Summary of Argument, they wrote: [53]

    “[T]he record does not support EPA’s findings that mercury, non-mercury HAP metals, and acid gas HAPs pose public health hazards.”

    Key Deeds

    July 5, 2018

    Pruitt stepped down from his position at the EPA. Donald Trump, announcing Pruitt's departure, tweeted that Pruitt had done an “outstanding job.” [162]

    Pruitt would be replaced by Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for Murray Energy

    “It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it as a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also because of the transformative work that is occurring,” Pruitt said in his resignation letter posted by Fox News. [163], [164]

    “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”

    June 28, 2018

    The Daily Beast reported that Pruitt had instructed his staff to pitch “oppo hits” to media outlets on officials who had left on poor terms. Sources told TDB that targets had included former transition team member David Schnare and career official John Reeder, who Pruitt reportedly called a “communist” in private. [165]

    “Sources say he’s actively undermined the reputations of former and current staffers, with campaigns that former senior EPA officials have described as 'ratf*cking',” TDB reported. [165]

    Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff, Kevin Chmielewski, was suspected of leaking details about Pruitt's travel and spending. Sources say Pruitt pushed back by tasking aides with leaking information about Chmielewski’s alleged misconduct at EPA. Chmielewski has accused Pruitt of retaliation, a charge to be investigated by the Office of Special Counsel. [165]

    June 7, 2018

    Heartland Institute president Tim Huelkamp addressed a letter to Pruitt supporting his prior statement that human emissions of carbon dioxide are not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” The letter offered materials to counter a Freedom of Information Act request by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) demanding the release of “EPA documents that support the conclusion that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.” [159], [161]

    “We have no doubt that PEER, with the assistance of the judge, is trying to box you in and embarrass you,” Huelskamp wrote. “Fortunately, you do not have to look far to find 'documents that support the conclusion that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.'” [159]

    For these documents, Huelskamp pointed to “Climate Change Reconsidered,” a report compiled by Heartland's Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) in partnership with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. “Heartland has submitted these volumes in digital form during EPA comment periods in the past, and we are certain physical copies were also sent to the agency,” he said. [159]

    Among numerous other claims, Huselkamp stated that the NPCC report—which he included a copy of in the letter to Pruitt—contained scientific evidence that: [159]

    • “Summarizes the research of a growing number of scientists who say variations in solar activity, not greenhouse gases, are the true driver of climate change” — See SkepticalScience myth #2.
    • “Challenges the IPCC’s claim that CO2-induced global warming is harmful to human health” — SkepticalScience Myth #42.
    • “Explains how the sun may have contributed as much as 66% of the observed twentieth century warming, and perhaps more” — SkepticalScience myth #2.

    Huselkamp described Climate Change Reconsidered as the work of a “'Red Team' that has been working to critique and correct the work of ideological alarmists on the 'Blue Team'” for more than a decade. “Feel free to cite this material, which contains more than 10,000 footnotes, in your response to the judge or in any other public setting,” Huelskamp concluded. [160]

    May 2018

    Maria Marshall, Director of Operations at the Office of the Executive Vice President at the Federalist Society was reportedly involved in planning a Rome visit for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in which he visited Cardinal Pell, a prominent member of the Catholic church and a climate change denier. [151]

    Documents released by New York Times reporter Eric Lipton outlined planning for the dinner in May, and the schedule of the dinner. According to an email sent during the dinner, an EPA staff member said that Pruitt and Pell discussed a Wall Street Journal article that had reported on the proposal of a “red team/blue team” debate on climate science.

    The Federalist Society's Leonard Leo also attended the dinner. According to another report in the New York Times, Leo also helped organize other elements of Pruitt's June 2017 Vatican trip. [152]

    The Washington Post reported Pruitt had earlier dined at one of Rome's finest restaurants at the expense of The Federalist Society's Leonard Leo. When asked about the dinner, an EPA spokesman said Pruitt was allowed to accept the gift given the men's personal relationship, however Leo was subsequently reimbursed for the cost. Leo reportedly arranged private events for Pruitt and his aides in Rome, and Leo was invited to join a meeting between Pruitt and Archbishop Paul Gallagher to discuss environmental policy. [149], [150]

    Altogether, Pruitt's Rome trip reportedly cost $120,000, according to previously-released EPA documents. That cost included $36,000 for Pruitt and staff to take a military jet from Cincinnati to New York. [153]

    May 8, 2018

    A new set of documents released to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed details of Pruitt's plan to engage in a “red team, blue team” expertise on climate change. The documents showed communications between the EPA and a number of corporate-funded conservative think tanks with views that run counter to established science on climate change including the Heartland Institute, the Manhattan Institute, and the CO2 Coalition. [148]

    “The documents show the extent to which the E.P.A., which is the main federal agency charged with protecting human health and the environment, worked with groups like the Heartland Institute, which holds positions on climate change that are far outside the mainstream of scientific opinion, as opposed to the agency’s own chief scientists,” The New York Times reported. [148]

    According to Benjamin D. Santer, a climate researcher at the Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “The idea that the Heartland Institute should be dictating what E.P.A. does on climate science is crazy.” He added, “They do not have scientific expertise.” [148]

    The emails also suggest that the EPA's Office of Research and Development, which normally does most of the science work of the Agency, was not active in the discussions.  In one email, a program analyst in the office, Christina Moody, wrote: “We are not involved. The Administrator is the one who wants to do this and I’m guessing his folks are putting it together.” [148]

    Oren M. Cass, a senior fellow at Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, another conservative think tank, was also included in EPA communications: [148]

     “We were thinking this meeting could be purely informative in nature, and not necessarily in the context of a specific EPA exercise,” Tate Bennett, associate administrator at the EPA wrote to Cass.  [148]

    Rodney W. Nichols, a consultant to the pro-carbon CO2 Coalition, wrote to Pruitt’s senior adviser for public affairs: [148]

    The ‘Red Team’ idea is superb. We will be glad to help the initiative in any way we can,” Nichols said.

    In a later email, Mark Carr, another consultant for the CO2 Coalition, wrote to Pruitt’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson: [148]

    I’m following up on face-to-face conversations my CO2 Coalition colleagues and I have had with Administrator Pruitt,” Mr. Carr wrote. “As you likely know, our experts are strongly supporting and helping organize the Red/Blue team initiative.”

    May 7, 2018

    The Sierra Club released a set of over 24,000 pages of EPA documents via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, outlining what it described as “the culture of corruption in and around Scott Pruitt at the EPA.”  View the complete set of searchable documents here. Highlights of the emails included confirmation of numerous meetings between Pruitt's senior political aides and polluting corporations, as well as connections between “Pruitt fundraisers, prominent Oklahoman business people, climate denial organizations abroad and more.” [141]

    The New York Times reported: “the documents provide new indications … that the concern with secrecy is less about security than a desire by Mr. Pruitt to avoid criticism from detractors or even unexpected questions from allies.” [142]

    The publicly released documents also revealed Pruitt's links to Matthew Freeman, former government lobbyist and treasurer for the American Australian Council, a “group that helps promote business for American based companies in Australia,” with clients including ConocoPhillips and Chevron. Freeman planned to have Pruitt meet with top Australian officials to discuss “the current US Australian environmental agreements that are currently in place and whether they should be changed or updated or canceled or replaced.” While the trip was postponed due to Hurricane Harvey, this is only one example of people with business interests planning Pruitt's trips. [141], [143]

    The Guardian reported the Australian climate change denial think tank Institute of Public Affairs had proposed co-hosted a proposed Australian visit by Pruitt before it was cancelled when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas gulf goast. An email from IPA's executive director, John Roskam, proposed a two-hour roundtable with Pruitt and IPA representatives who disagree with the mainstream consensus on climate change including Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy. Roskam wrote to Matthew Freedman: “All of these people are excellent and I know Scott and his team would learn a great deal from a discussion with them. Among other names, Roskam also recommended Pruitt meet Maurice Newman, who has described global warming as “a delusion.” [156]

    Roskam wrote that he had spoken to Brendan Pearson, then working for Minerals Council, who was “working with the [US] embassy” on the trip. In emails, Freedman described the IPA as a “very strong group for the administrator” and a potential co-host of the trip. [156]

    In a New York Times article on the documents, Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat with a history of criticizing Pruitt's spending was quoted as saying that the documents “reveal that lobbyists for energy companies and foreign Governments acted as travel agents.” [143]

    Blomberg reported that the documents show Scott Pruitt has had many requests to meet from oil and gas associations, coal companies, oil executives and energy lobbyists since his appointment as Administrator of the EPA. Many of the requests “are laced with praise or full of congratulations for Pruitt's work to revise Obama administration pollution regulations.”   [155]

    A meeting with Kinder Morgan Public Affairs Vice President Dave Conover would have covered topics like pollution control requirements and and natural gas pipeline permitting, while Marathon Petroleum Corp. lobbyist Michael Birsic “leveraged a relationship with one of Pruitt's deputies to try to arrange a meeting for Heminger, his CEO, to talk about the U.S. biofuel mandate and air regulations.” [155]

    Mother Jones reported the documents showed how Pruitt was open to meetings with industry executives and groups while EPA staff ensured “Pruitt’s events were not advertised ahead of time and were closed to the general public.” [147]

    April 24, 2018

    Pruitt unveiled a “secret science” initiative that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using any studies that do not make the raw data public. The rule would be subject to a 30-day comment period. [138]

    “The science that we use is going to be transparent, reproducible and able to be analyzed by those in the marketplace,” Pruitt said. “This is the right approach. Today is a red letter today. It's a banner day. It's an agency taking responsibility for how we do our work and respect the process to make sure we can enhance confidence in our decision making.” [138]

    A range of Pruitt's conservative allies attended the event at EPA headquarters, however press was not invited. Among those present was Lamar Smith, who tried to create a similar rule through legislation, but it failed to pass. Senator Mike Rounds, who authored a similar bill in the Senate, also attended. Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed Lamar Smith's staff coordinated with Pruitt on the rule, E&E News reported. [139]

    Critics have noted that the rule would prevent the EPA from using all available data, with examples including data from patients that needs to be kept private and data subject to industry confidentiality.

     “Administrator Pruitt is very clearly trying to exclude and ignore longstanding pollution and medical science that is peer-reviewed, embraced by the National Academy of Sciences among others, and also based on health data that people were promised would be kept confidential,” John Walke, the clean air director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Washington Examiner. [138]

     Climate change denier Steve Milloy told E&E news that he also had a role to play: [139]

    “I look at it as one of my proudest achievements. The reason this is anywhere is because of Steve Milloy,” he said.

    The Examiner reported that the text of the proposed rule could allow possible exceptions to the transparency rule for corporate-funded research, and Pruitt may be able to grant special exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Examples included “confidential business information” and information “sensitive to national and homeland security.” [138]

    A letter by seven Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) wrote a letter to Pruitt requesting for more information. [140]

    The proposed new policy will require EPA—when developing rules—to rely only on scientific studies where the underlying data have been made public and are available to be reproduced. Such a policy would likely violate several laws that mandate the use of ‘best available science,’ including the Toxic Substances Control Act and Safe Drinking Water Act because it would require EPA to ignore some of the ‘best’ scientific studies,” the letter read.

    On the afternoon of the announcement, Marc Morano tweeted an image, posting with Steve Milloy at the EPA HQ ”celebrating the end of secret science.” In another tweet, Morano presented his book—“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change”—to a smiling Scott Pruitt.

    Prominent climate change denier Will Happer posed for a photo along with CFACT's executive director Craig Rucker and Morano, with the title “At EPA HQ with Dr. Will Happer waiting for EPA chief Pruitt.”

    April 12, 2018

    Pruitt faced new allegations in a six-page letter signed by two Democratic senators and three House lawmakers, The New York Times reported. [133]

    The letter followed a meeting between staff members and Kevin Chmielewski, who served as the EPA's chief of staff until he was removed from the position for bringing up objections to Pruitt's spending. View the letter below: [134]

    “Although your spokesperson has repeatedly described those who raise concerns about your actions as 'disgruntled employees' whose stories should not be believed, our staffs found Mr. Chmielewski to be a credible professional who continues to express deep loyalty to the President and Vice-President. He came forward because, as he said, 'right is right, and wrong is wrong',” the letter concluded, along with a request for all documents relating to the concerns outlined in the letter.

    April 4, 2018

    In what HuffPost described as a “suprisingly firm interview” with Fox News' Ed Henry, Pruitt faced questions on his recent scandals including pay raises to two of his staffers, which he denied knowledge of. [135], [136]

    Henry said the interview “got a little combative.” He demanded to know who was responsible for the raises: [136]

    Henry: So, is somebody being fired for that?
    Pruitt: That should not have been done. And it may be —
    Henry: So, who did it?
    Pruitt: There will be some accountability.
    Henry: A career person or a political person?
    Pruitt: I’ll have to — I don’t know. I don’t know who’s —
    Henry: You don’t know? You run the agency. You don’t know who did this?
    Pruitt: I found out about this yesterday, and I corrected the action.

    Are you embarrassed?” Henry asked. [135], [136]

    April 3, 2018

    Pruitt formally announced his decision to rewrite greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light duty trucks, DeSmog reported. [109]

    “The Obama Administration's determination was wrong,” Pruitt said, quoted in the April 2 EPA press release. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.” [110]

    Before Pruitt stepped up to the podium to make the announcement, he shook hands with representatives from the auto industry including the Auto Alliance and Global Automakers trade group, as well as Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute[111] 

    The New York Times reported the event was originally planned for a Chevrolet dealership in northern Virginia and changed last-minute due to push back from some Chevy dealerships that didn't want the brand to be associated with the announcement. [112]

    According to Media Matters, reporters from numerous outlets were blacklisted from the event, while CNN reported that the EPA had attempted to allow television access to Fox News without informing the other four networks: CNN, ABC, NBC, or CBS. A CNN reporter was in the building, but not allowed access to the room the event was held. [113], [114]

    February 2018

    As reported by E&E News, in an interview with KSNV TV in Nevada, Pruitt claimed that global warming could beneficial. [107], [108]

    “No one disputes the climate changes. Is changing,” Pruitt said, responding to Gerard Ramahlo's question on his views of climate change. “That's, we see that, that's constant. We obviously contribute to it. We live in the climate, right. So our activity contributes to the climate changing to a certain degree. Now, measuring that with precision, Gerard, is I think more challenging than is let on at times. But I think the bigger question is what you asked at the very end: is it an existential threat? Is it somethat that is unsustainable, or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have? [108]

    “I mean, we know that humans have most flourished during times of what, warming trends? I mean, so I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing. Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100? In the year 2018? And that's somewhat, I think, fairly arrogant for us to think we know exactly what it should be in 2100. So there's important questions around the climate issue that folks don't really get to.” [108]

    E&E News's Climatewire noted that the interview went beyond Pruitt's previous claims on climate change, where in the past he hadn't spoken on what impacts climate change could have. [107]

    “Pruitt is right that temperatures have varied throughout geologic history. But scientists say the speed of change sets the modern age apart. It's happening over a period of decades, not millenia. That makes comparisons to the past inaccurate, they say,” E&E News noted. [107]

    Climate change denier Myron Ebell, a supporter of Pruitt, also noted the shift in Pruitt's views: [107]

    “When you're learning about a subject, you pick up pieces, and you don't pick up other pieces right away,” Ebell said. “His rhetoric has shifted, and I expect that that is because he has been briefed by someone.” [107]

    January 2018

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Pruitt outlined his plans to remake the EPA in 2018. His goals include rewriting rules for power plant emissions made under the Obama administration, and speeding the permit review process under the EPA. [106]

    Pruitt emphasized he wanted to move fast. “There’s tremendous opportunity to show really significant results to the American people in a really short time frame,” Pruitt said. [106]

    WSJ author Timothy Puko notes that Pruitt had memorialized the moment that Trump announced the exit from the Paris climate agreement by hanging a framed photo of the two of them in the Rose Garden with an autograph of Pruitt's prepared remarks, along with the comment “Scott—Great Job!” [106]

    One of Pruitt's goals is to begin weekly performance assessments for ever EPA office, and to get the permitting process to under six months. Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy commented on Pruitt's shift of focus for the EPA away from climate change. [106]

    Everything the agency does is to protect public health and the public from future risks,” said McCarthy.  “You don’t stop smoking because it kills you when you smoke the cigarette; it’s because it kills you later. It’s the same argument with climate change. You take action today to protect health today and in the future.” [106]

    December 2017

    Kent Lassman, President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), wrote that Scott Pruitt had invited him to the EPA, and that the think tank had “contributed to positive development recently at the Environmental Protection Agency”: [105]

    “Speaking of impact measures, CEI contributed to positive development recently at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt invited me along with three colleagues for a signing ceremony where he officially put in place new conflict of interest requirements for the 22 scientific advisory boards at the EPA. It was a good day and is another step in the march to stop the flow of tens of millions of dollars from the federal fisc to outside advocates who only ever counsel more regulation,” Lassman wrote in a “fall policy update” at CEI[105]

    Lassman also said that he had been to the EPA and White House multiple times in recent months: [105]

    “As a representative of the dozens of analysts, fellows, and lawyers who toil away at CEI, in the last two months I’ve found myself in multiple meetings at Office of Mangement [sic] and Budget, the EPA, and the White House. I can make an unqualified assertion: It is nice when the government wants our advice on how to shape a policy proposal.” [105]

    November 30, 2017

    The Heritage Foundation and Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) invited Pruitt to speak at their co-hosted event, “At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit.” Speaking on stage to TPPF President and CEO Brooke Rollins, Pruitt discussed how he believed that the new administration needs to “embrace a stewardship mentality” by making use of more natural resources, while “navigating the pathway to undoing these [Obama administration] regulations.” Pruitt highlighted recent accomplishments like undoing the Waters of the United States Rule, saying “what we’re doing is undoing those rules that were deficient.” [103]

    “We as country need to ask ourselves, and we need to answer: what is true environmentalist? Is it truly prohibition? Is it to say that though we’ve been blessed with certain natural resources we shouldn’t use them? Or should we use those natural resources to feed and power the world and do so with environmental stewardship in mind? And it’s a very important question,” Pruitt said. “

    […] We need to embrace a stewardship mentality. And, to whom much is given, much is required. And use those natural resources we’ve been blessed with to bless others, both domestically and internationally. And we’ve got to have that dialogue.” [103]

    Brooke responded, “I love that,” moving to a question on Pruitt's experience given he was “a complete Washington Outsider.” Pruitt said he is “so thankful to be serving the President, as I indicated earlier, because of his courage.” 

    “He’s made very, very courageous decisions,” Pruitt said. He’s willing to take on the culture here in Washington and across the country. As an example, that is the Paris Accord agreement, to exit that. There was tremendous pressure brought on the President to stay in that, by the way, for no good environmental reason. It was a bumper sticker. Paris was a bumper sticker. It was not about CO2 reduction. It was about penalizing our own economy. […] The President made a very courageous decision to exit.”  [103]

    November 9, 2017

    Scott Pruitt addressed the Heartland Institute's “America First Energy Conference” at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas in a pre-recorded video message. In the video, Pruitt personally thanked Heartland for “what you're doing to advance energy” and “for what you're doing to advance natural resources: [99]

    Many of the other speakers have regularly spoken at the Heartland Institute's past ICCCs. Notable speakers listed so far Joe BastFred PalmerRoger BezdekH. Sterling BurnettHal Doiron, Paul DriessenJohn Dale DunnMyron Ebell, Heartland's new President Tim HuelskampCraig IdsoDavid LegatesJay LehrAnthony LupoRoss McKitrickSteve MilloyTodd MyersJohn Nothdurt, David Schnare, and numerous others. [100]

    As reported at the Houston Chronicle, speakers notably included two Trump Administration officials: Richard W. Westerdale II of the State Department and Vincent DeVito of the Department of Interior. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, was also formerly listed as a Heartland conference speaker, but apparently withdrew. [101]

    The Climate Investigations Center put up a parody of the America First Energy conference website, complete with profiles on the individual speakers and highlighting their corporate funding and ties to groups such as the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC)[102]

    November 8 2017

    A November 2017 exchange reported on by Mother Jones between Pruitt and the Federalist Society expressed concerns about one of Pruitt's events being posted online. An EPA official was concerned event could be “disrupted by those who see that the Administrator is attending and want to distract from the event.” The EPA official wrote: “If your team can take extra care to prevent that, we would appreciate it. A Federalist Society representative later reassured her: “Fed Soc does meticulous vetting of his registrants.” [147]

    October 10, 2017

    Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to repeal what the official EPA press release describes as “the so-called 'Clean Power Plan (CPP).'” [95]

    “After reviewing the CPP, EPA has proposed to determine that the Obama-era regulation exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority. Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence,” the press release reads. [95]

    As the New York Times reported, the decision is a “personal triumph for Mr. Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general helped lead more than two dozen states in challenging the rule in the courts.” [96]

    The proposal for repeal will now have to make it through a formal public comment period, and will face opposition from both environmental groups and Democrats. New York and Massachusetts attorneys general also said they plan to sue the E.P.A. once the repeal is finalized. [96]

    September 18, 2017

    A recent release of EPA documents following a FOIA lawsuit by the Sierra Club have revealed that Pruitt agreed to fast-track the clean up of a polluted California area following an unreported meeting with conservative radio and television host Hugh Hewitt. The area was designated a Superfund site, an EPA program that governs the investigation and cleanup of the nation’s most complex hazardous waste sites in order to convert those sites into community resources.  [141]

    “Pruitt has drawn criticism from environmentalists and other critics for letting prominent GOP backers and industry groups influence the agency's agenda — even as he has kicked scientists off of EPA's advisory panels and moved to limit the kinds of peer-reviewed research it will consider when making decisions,” Politico reported. [146]

    August, 2017

    According to an August 2017 article at The New York Times, David Schnare, who had previously announced he was quitting the EPA under Pruitt's leadership, clarified that his reason for resigning was Scott Pruitt's secrecy and mismanagement of the agency. [88]

    He’s got a serious problem because of his emails down in Oklahoma — he’s burned himself,” said Schnare, referring to the thousands of emails released as part of a request by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). (Pruitt had previously asserted the emails did not exist). [88]

    Schare cited Pruitt's lack of transparency as one of the reasons for his resignation: [88]

    My view was that under this administration we would be good at transparency, particularly in the regulatory area,” he said. “But these guys aren’t doing that.” [88]

    July 2017

    Scott Pruitt's EPA began initial moves to assemble a “red team” designed to combat mainstream climate change science. The administration reached out to the Heartland Institute, which had a red team of its own designed to be the antithesis to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Washington Examiner reported. [89]

    “The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached out to the Heartland Institute to help identify scientists who could constitute a red team, and we've been happy to oblige,” Jim Lakely, the Heartland Institute's communications director, told the Washington Examiner.

    “This effort is long overdue,” he said. “The climate scientists who have dominated the deliberations and the products of the IPCC have gone almost wholly without challenge. That is a violation of the scientific method and the public's trust.”

    The Heartland Institute has been a long proponent of a red team “to critically examine what has become alarmist dogma rather than a sober evaluation of climate science for many years,” Lakely said. “In fact, Heartland has worked closely with a red team that has been examining the science for several years: the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC.” [89]

    According to Climatewire, a senior administration official said that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals […] provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science.” [90]

    The official added that the program will use “red team, blue team” exercises to conduct an “at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science.” Climate scientists expressed concern that the “red team, blue team” concept could further politicize research and “disproportionately elevate the views of a relatively small number of experts who disagree with mainstream scientists,” Climatewire also reported. [91]

    The New York Times reported that Pruitt's preparations were already underway by the time he spoke at an ACCCE board meeting where he discussed his strategy, The New York Times reported. Critics have said that Pruitt's approach would undermine the role of academic research at the EPA. [94]

    I think this is fundamentally a dumb idea,” Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University, told The New York Times in an email. “It’s like a red team-blue team exercise about whether gravity exists.”

    June 16, 2017

    The Associated Press received a new set of emails from Pruitt, further detailing his coordination with fossil fuel companies during his time as Oklahoma’s state attorney general. The set of emails ran over 4,000 pages and included schedules and speaking engagements between Pruitt and his staff as well as key representatives and lobbyists from the fossil fuel industries. [87]

    The AP reported that one June, 2016 email showed a board member of Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA) seeking a meeting with Pruitt's team to brief them “regarding a pending federal tax issue that is related to the state’s position on the Clean Power Plan.” v

    DEPA represents a range of independent oil and gas companies including interests of Harold Hamm, who backed Scott Pruitt politically and also frequently advised Donald Trump. [87] 

    June 2, 2017

    Following Donald Trump's official announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Accord, Pruitt said the U.S. has “nothing to be apologetic about” for leaving the Paris climate deal at the White House Daily Briefing. [85], [86]

    The Washington Post reported that Pruitt had played a decisive role in influencing Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. [83]

    In Pruitt's prepared speech on June 1, Pruitt applauded Trump's decision to exit the agreement as “a historic restoration of American Economic Independence – one that will benefit the working class, the working poor, and working people of all stripes.  With this action, you have declared that people are the rulers of this country once again.” [84]

    May 5, 2017

    A release of documents by the Sierra Club revealed the Heritage Foundation helped Pruitt with his talking points prior to the address given at its “Resource Bank” event. [141]

    The angles described by the Heritage foundation in an article by Mother Jones included:

    “remind the audience of some of the fights he was engaged in with the Obama Administration (and just how bad it was). His selection as EPA Administrator (and maybe mention Sen. SEssions as AG and others now in the Administration who have fought hard to rollback and contain the power of the federal government) should give us hope The Paris Climate Agreement is one area the audience will be interested in hearing about. The Executive Orders and review of regulations are other ways the Administration is beginning to turn the corner.”

    In a later email, the EPAs Millian Hupp thanked Heritage and mentioned that Lincoln Ferguson, speechwriter for Pruitt would find the remarks “helpful in preparing talking points.” [154]

    March 29, 2017

    The New York Times reported that Pruitt, as head of the EPA, rejected conclusions from his own agency's chemical safety experts who had recommended to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos used widely on farms across the United States. [97]

    Pruitt released a statement concluding that the agency needed to study the science more before banning the chemical. While still used in about 40,000 farms, the chemical had already been banned in household settings. [98]

    Late in 2016, EPA scientists found that the chemical was potentially causing health consequences including memory decline in farm workers and children who might become exposed to the substance through drinking water. Farm groups using the chemical as well as Dow Chemical, which sells the chemical to farmers under the name Lorsban, had argued the science was inconclusive. [97]

    March 9, 2017

    Scott Pruitt stated in a CNBC interview that he doesn't carbon dioxide to be one of the main contributors to global warming. The Hill posted a partial except of the interview: [80], [81]

    “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see […] But we don’t know that yet […] we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis,” Pruitt said.

    DeSmog reported that environmental groups have expressed their displeasure with Pruitt's comments: [82]

    This is like your doctor telling you that cigarettes don't cause cancer,” Jamie Henn, strategic communications director for 350.org, said in a statement. “Pruitt’s statement isn’t just inaccurate, it’s a lie. He knows CO2 is the leading cause of climate change, but is misleading the public in order to protect the fossil fuel industry.”

    DeSmog also put together a brief video, outlining Pruitt's stance on global warming, highlighting his earlier statements during his confirmation hearing when he was questioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    February 21, 2017

    The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) obtained thousands of emails from the Oklahoma Attorney General's office. CMD had previously filed a lawsuit against Pruitt for withholding the public records. The emails were released after the Oklahoma County Court found Pruitt in violation of the state’s Open Records Act. [77], [78]

    Among the documents released on February 21, CMD found emails further documenting the close relationship between Devon Energy and Scott Pruitt. They also found that the oil and gas lobby group American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) coordinated opposition in 2013 to both the Renewable Fuel Standard Program and ozone limits with Pruitt’s office. AFPM provided Pruitt with template language for an Oklahoma petition,  noting “this argument is more credible coming from a State.” [78]

    DeSmog also examined the emails, noting that they reveal a close relationship with groups such as the Koch Industries-funded Americans for Prosperity and the Oklahoma Public Policy Council, the latter a member of the influential conservative State Policy Network (SPN). [79]

    CMD reports that the AG's office has withheld or redacted an undetermined number of additional documents pending review by the court. [78]

    January 18, 2017

    Scott Pruitt sat before the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee for his confirmation hearing as a nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt was introduced by his “mentor,” prominent climate change denier James Inhofe. In response to a question from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Pruitt responded: [23]

    The climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. It is the ability to measure it and the extent of that impact, and what to do about it that is subject to continued debate and dialogue,” Pruitt said.

    DeSmog reported how Pruitt was grilled on his fossil fuel ties early in the hearing. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held up a chart outlining how Pruitt has financially benefited from fossil fuel companies including Devon Energy, Southern Company, Koch Industries, and ExxonMobil. [30]

    Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon pointed to a 2014 letter that Pruitt's office had sent to the EPA about methane rules, which had been almost entirely written by Devon Energy.

    There were 1,016 words in the letter, and all but 37 words were written by Devon Energy,” said Merkley.  “Do you acknowledge that you presented a private oil company's position, rather than a position developed by the people of Oklahoma?” Merkley pushed, “How can you present that as representing the people of Oklahoma when you simply only consulted an oil company to push its own point of view for its private profit?”

    Pruitt responded that the letter wasn't intended to represent only one company, but the whole industry. See footage of Pruitt's hearing below, from C-SPAN.

    EPA Confirmation Hearing Part 1)

    EPA Confirmation Hearing Part 2)

    Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) mentioned Pruitt's letter to the EPA, authored almost entirely by Devon Energy, that had been reported in the 2014 New York Times investigation, asking pruitt if he would acknowledge that acknowledge that he “presented a private oil company’s position, rather than a position developed by the people of Oklahoma.” To this, Pruitt replied that he “disagree[d]” with Merkley’s conclusion and asserted that the letter was “representing the interests of the state of Oklahoma” because it “was representing the interest of an industry in the state of Oklahoma, not a company.” He added that he belived the oil industry is “a very important industry to our state” for justification. [7], [48]

    Asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) whether he solicited fossil fuel contributions on behalf of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), Pruitt said that “I have not asked them for money on behalf of RAGA.” While Media Matters notes that Pruitt's claim may be true, it also points out that RAGA had sent out call sheets to Republican attorneys general for the purpose of soliciting funds from corporations, making this a point worthy of followup. [69]

    Later in the hearing, in what Media Matters describes as “setting up an apparent conflict of interest,” Pruitt said that he would not recuse himself from his ongoing litigation against the EPA. Responding to a question by Senator Markey, Pruitt answered that he would only recuse himself if “as directed by EPA ethics counsel.” Markey noted that Pruitt’s continued involvement in those lawsuits would create a “fundamental conflict of interest.”  [48]

    Some of since suggested that Pruitt may have made a false statement under oath to the Senate during his confirmation hearing, Business Insider reports. Pruitt, while referring to an ongoing environmental lawsuit involving several poultry companies in Arkansas. Pruitt's predecessor, Drew Edmondson, had brought a case against 13 poultry companies, accusing them of dumping over 300,000 tons of poultry waste into the Illinois River. During Pruitt's campaign for state attorney general, he had accepted $40,000 in donations from those companies and the law firms representing them, according to The New York Times. One in office, Pruitt did not pursue the case as his predecessor had done. [72]

    In response to questions from Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey during his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said: “I have taken no action to undermine that case. I have done nothing but file briefs in support of the court making a decision.” Reporter Daniel Rivero found no evidence that Pruitt or his office had ever filed briefs in support of making a decision with the case, apparently contradicting his claim. [72], [73]

    January 12, 2017

    Senate Democrats raised conflict of interest concerns about Scott Pruitt. In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, members of the Senate's environment panel requested more background on Pruitt's dealings with the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which Pruitt led for two years while coordinating with other state AGs to combat the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. [31], [32]

    During his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt has blurred the distinction between official and political actions, often at the behest of corporations he will regulate if confirmed to lead EPA,” the letter said. “Public reporting based on documents produced by Freedom of Information Act requests illustrate how Mr. Pruitt and members of his staff have worked closely with fossil fuel lobbyists to craft his office's official positions.”

    November 1, 2016

    Among numerous ongoing legal challenges against the EPA's Clean Water Rule, Pruitt's name is included on a 2016 lawsuit issued in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. [68]

    October, 2016

    Scott Pruitt sued the EPA over standards for new, modified, and reconstructed power plants. Pruit and his PACs have received contributions from listed co-litigators including Murray Energy, Southern Company, Peabody Energy, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. [49], [67]

    September 15, 2016

    Scott Pruitt was a speaker at a Federalist Society Event titled “The Clean Power Plan Goes to Court,” discussing the case of West Virginia et al. v. EPA. Video below: [33]

    Speakers included:

    • David Bookbinder, Founder, Element VI Consulting
    • David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate & Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
    • Hon. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General, Oklahoma
    • David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP
    • Moderator: Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution

    August 2, 2016

    Scott Pruitt, along with a number of other Republican attorneys general, sued the EPA over standards limiting pollution from new, modified and reconstructed oil and gas facilities. [49], [61]

    June 15, 2016

    Scott Pruitt signed a letter (PDF), along with other Republican attorneys general, opposing the investigations of ExxonMobil discussing what it knew about climate change. The open letter criticized the coalition of state attorneys general working under the banner of “AGs United for Clean Power,”  which supported the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, and also led the investigation into ExxonMobil. [34], [35]

    “We think this effort by our colleagues to police the global warming debate through the power of the subpoena is a grave mistake,” the letter reads.

    Signatories included the following:

    • Luther Strange — Attorney General, State of Alabama
    • Craig Richards — Attorney General, State of Alaska
    • Mark Brnovich— Attorney General, State of Arizona
    • Leslie Rutledge— Attorney General, State of Arkansas
    • Jeff Landry — Attorney General, State of Louisiana
    • Bill Schuette — Attorney General, State of Michigan
    • Doug Peterson — Attorney General, State of Nebraska
    • Adam Laxalt — Attorney General, State of Nevada
    • Scott Pruitt — Attorney General, State of Oklahoma
    • Alan Wilson — Attorney General, State of South Carolina
    • Ken Paxton — Attorney General, State of Texas
    • Sean Reyes — Attorney General, State of Utah
    • Brad Schimel — Attorney General, State of Wisconsin

    May 26, 2016

    Scott Pruitt testified (PDF) before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Environment on the “Impact of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan on States.” [27]

    According to Pruitt:

     “the EPA was never intended to be our Nation’s frontline environmental regulator. The States were to have regulatory primacy. The EPA was to be a regulator of last resort. That construct, a construct put in place by this body, has been turned upside down by the current Administration.”

    Pruitt also describes hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as having “ done more to reduce carbon emissions in this country than any other technological advancement of our time.” Pruitt added, “This didn’t happen as a result of the heavy hand of the EPA. Rather, it happened because of fracking and the positive market forces that those sorts of Oklahoma innovations create.” [27]

    May 16, 2016

    Scott Pruitt was featured on a Federalist Society podcast to discuss the investigation of state attorneys general into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change over the past decades. Also on the panel was climate change denier and lobbyist C. Boyden Gray. [36]

    In the podcast, Pruitt reiterated his belief that if climate change skeptics can be prosecuted for fraud, so can “alarmists.” Take this tweet he wrote in June, 2016: [37]

    April 22, 2016

    Scott Pruitt was among those suing the EPA, alongside Murray Energy Corporation, opposing an update to its national ambient air standard for ground-level ozone (smog pollution). [56]

    April 22, 2016

    In ongoing litigation, Scott Pruitt suited the EPA over the Clean Power Plan. This was the fourth lawsuit that Pruitt filed against the EPA regarding the CPP, with three previous lawsuits being summarily rejected as premature: first, in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuitsecond in Oklahoma federal district court, this appealed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; and third in D.C Circuit Court. [63], [64], [65], [66]

    March 16, 2016

    The Office of the Attorney General of Oklahoma sued the EPA (PDF) over a rule that protected against excessive emissions from power plants during startup, shutdown, or malfunction. Co-litigators included Southern Company, from whom Pruitt had received campaign contributions. [49], [59], [60]

    October, 2015

    While working as Oklahoma's Attorney General, Scott Pruitt filed a lawsuit against the EPA's Clean Power Plan (PDF). Assisting him were the attorneys from BakerHostetler, one of the United States's largest law firms. [38]

    Two attorneys working with Pruitt included David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman—the same two who in Mach 2016 recently established the Free Speech in Science Project to defend companies and groups over their climate science denial. 

    August, 2015

    DeSmog reported on that, in 2015, just one week before state attorneys general asked federal courts to reject the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), republican state attorneys general had met in private with energy companies Murray Energy and Southern Company. Bloomberg also noted that the timing of the secret meetings coincided with large contributions from the energy companies to the Republican Attorneys General Association. [39], [15]

    Representatives had attended the August 2015 Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) summit in West Virginia. The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) identified Murray Energy and Southern Company as having shelled out extra money to secure private briefings with attorneys general at the annual RAGA summit. [39]

    That’s highly inappropriate for law enforcement officials in a majority of states to be holding private meetings with corporations that they are supposed to be holding to account,” Nick Surgey, CMD Research Director, told DeSmog

    Documents first obtained by the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD revealed that Murray Energy and Southern Company had paid for the meetings with Republican attorneys general to discuss their opposition to the Clean Power Plan less than two weeks before the same GOP officials petitioned federal courts to block the CPP. [16]

    State attorneys general are supposed to enforce the law and serve the public interest, but instead these Republican officials have hung a ‘For Sale’ sale on their door, and the fossil fuel industry proved to be the highest bidder,” said Surgey. “It’s no coincidence that GOP attorneys general have mounted an aggressive fight alongside the fossil fuel industry to block the Clean Power Plan – that appears to be exactly what the industry paid for. Together, these documents reveal a sustained pattern of collusion between the fossil fuel industry and the Republican attorneys general on climate change obstructionism.”

    Scott Pruitt was on a RAGA panel named “The Dangerous Consequences of the Clean Power Plan & Other EPA Rules.” Other attorneys general on the panel included Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, and Ken Paxton of Texas.  [39]

    July 1, 2015

    Scott Pruitt sued the EPA for what his Office press release describes as the “Unlawful Clean Power Plan Rule.” [40]

    The EPA does not possess the authority under the Clean Air Act to accomplish what it proposes in the unlawful Clean Power Plan. The EPA is ignoring the authority granted by Congress to states to regulate power plant emissions at their source. The Clean Power Plan is an unlawful attempt to expand federal bureaucrats’ authority over states’ energy economies in order to shutter coal-fired power plants and eventually other sources of fossil-fuel generated electricity. This would substantially threaten energy affordability and reliability for consumers, industry and energy producers in Oklahoma. Oklahomans care about issues of air quality and our state policy makers are best-suited and specifically granted the authority by federal law to regulate these issues. We are filing this lawsuit in order to ensure decisions on power generation and how to achieve emissions reductions are made at the local level rather than at the federal level,” Pruitt said.

    View the complete lawsuit here (PDF). [41]

    December 10, 2014

    Pruitt was among attorneys general who filed a lawsuit against the EPA opposing the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (PDF), after the U.S. Supreme Court had already upheld the standard. The EPA's program was designed to address soot and smog pollution that drifts across state lines. EDF Action notes that Pruitt and his associated PACs have received campaign contributions from a number of the energy companies included in the suit including Murray Energy, Peabody Energy and Southern Company. [50][49]

    Co-litigators Murray Energy, National Mining Association and a Peabody Energy subsidiary had also contributed to the Republican Attorneys General Association, of which Pruitt previously chaired.  [49]

    In 2011, Pruitt had submitted the comments of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and the Oklahaoma Gas and Electric Company (PDF) regarding the implementation of the program. “[A]s the officer charged with the task of representing consumers and citizens within the State of Oklahoma, the Attorney General is greatly concerned about certain provisions in the current EPA proposal,” Pruitt's cover letter reads. In a seperate letter, he also submitted comments of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. [51], [52]

    December, 2014

    A 2014 investigation by The New York Times found that energy lobbyists had drafted letters for Pruitt to send on state-branded stationary to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget, and to President Obama outlining how environmental rules would negatively impact the economy. View sample letters here. [7], [42]

    The Times pointed to a three-page letter that was written by the lawyers for Devon Energy. They write how Pruitt's staff had taken the draft written by Devon Energy, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and forwarded it with Pruitt's signature. [7]

    July, 2014

    Scott Pruitt spoke at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) 2014 Annual Meeting where he criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Keep It in the Ground campaign. See video and partial transcript below. [29]

    Partial Transcript: [43]

    This body called the EPA, this agency called the EPA, what is their role? What is their objective? Is it to pick winners and losers in the energy context? Is it to say renewables are good and fossil fuels are bad? So we’re going to use are regulatory power to penalize fossil fuels and to elevate other types of energy? […]

    This EPA and all the agencies associated with it, they’re trying to make electricity so costly that they are forcing conservation, for you to use less across this country or pay an exorbitant price. That’s what this country is facing in the years ahead […]

    Do you know under the know under the Clean Water Act that the EPA has no jurisdictional authority over hydraulic fracturing unless the frac fluid that is used in the extraction process has diesel in it? But despite that. FracFocus is something industry publishes and the fluids they use and if there’s no diesel EPA has no authority. But despite that what is the EPA doing today? They’re engaged in a study to do just what I mentioned, regulate and overtake the regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the state level. Either displace it or duplicate it to make it so time consuming that it affects production across this country. That’s picking winners and losers […]

    Beyond the regional haze case, we have something on the horizon something more troubling. And that’s the proposed rule under 111(d) with respect to CO2 regulation. We have an EPA that is engaged in rulemaking, proposed rulemaking, that seeks to exert itself in a way that the statute doesn’t authorize at all […]

    Again, another example that the EPA taking a statute and saying we’ll improve or fix or take a different approach than authorized by Congress.”

    The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMDPR Watch reported that Pruitt also spoke at a session on the proposed EPA's limits on carbon pollution. CMD writes: “In keeping with ALEC’s longtime denial of both the science and solutions to climate change, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, spoke about proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits on carbon pollution. That session was sponsored by the world’s largest publicly owned coal company, Peabody Energy, and the trade association for the coal industry, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), of which Peabody is a member.” [44]

    March, 2014

    Scott Pruitt's Office filed a lawsuit against Fish and Wildlife Services, alleging it had engaged in a practice he described as “sue and settle.” Pruitt argued that the federal government had emphasized threats on certain animal species, including the lesser prairie chicken, in order to limit oil and gas drilling. The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance was a partner in Pruitt's litigation. The nonprofit alliance of oil producers was run by Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, who The New York Times notes also served as the chairman of Pruitt's re-election campaign in that year. [45]

    May 3, 2013

    Scott Pruitt was a speaker at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) event titled “Embracing American Energy Opportunities: From Wellheads to Pipelines” (PDF) in Oklahoma. Others who attended included event moderator Patrice Douglas, Chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission; Richard Muncrief, Senior Vice President of Operations, Continental Resources; and Corey Goulet, Vice President, Keystone Pipeline Projects, TransCanda Corporation. [46]

    2013

    Pruitt unsuccessfully sued EPA in an attempt to block Oklahoma air pollution rules to limit haze pollution in scenic areas. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Oklahoma’s petition, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Oklahoma’s request for an appeal[49], [57], [58]

    October 23, 2012

    Pruitt sued to block a standard to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from power plant smokestacks. After the initial lawsuit, basic protections remained intact, so Pruitt sued the EPA a second time (PDF), even though the majority of U.S. powerplants had already achieved the standard, reported Forbes. [49][53], [54], [55]

    February 28, 2012

    Pruitt attempted to continue Oklahoma’s legal challenge to the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which had found that research supported climate change's negative impact on human health, community welfare, and extreme weather events. [49], [62]

    The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously rejected the lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision.  [49]

    Co-litigators included the American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Mining Association, National Association of Home Builders, as well as a Peabody Energy, which have contributed to the Republican Attorneys General Association[49]

    2010

    Working in support of the American Farm Bureau’s, Pruitt helped file a lawsuit to overturn federal pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay.  Speaking with WYPR public radio, Ridge Hall, a former EPA attorney and vice chairman of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, said Pruitt’s EPA appointment in 2016 would be bad for the bay. [28]

    He has consistently opposed air regulations, water regulations, and EPA generally,” Hall said. “So this is really a case of putting the fox in charge of the hen house.  So I hope very much that that nomination will be wither withdrawn or defeated.” 

    Affiliations

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    81. Timothy Mama. “EPA chief: Carbon dioxide isn’t a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming,” The Hill, March 9, 2017. Archived March 9, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/eKGCB

    82. Farron Cousins. “EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Disputes Carbon Dioxide’s Role in Global Warming, Contradicting His Own Agency's Research,” DeSmog, March 9, 2017.

    83. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis. “Scott Pruitt, outspoken and forceful, moves to the center of power within the Trump administration,The Washington Post, June 2, 2017. Archived June 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OUfNT

    84. Administrator Scott Pruitt Speech On Paris Accord, As Prepared,” EPA, June 1, 2017. Archived June 2, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JuV0B

    85. Sharon Kelly. “Trump Abandons Paris Climate Deal At Bidding of Fossil Fuel Interests,” DeSmog, June 1, 2017.

    86. White House Daily Briefing ,” C-SPAN, June 2, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

    87. Emails reiterate EPA chief’s ties to fossil fuel interests,” Associated Press, June 16, 2017. Archived July 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/72PHs

    88. Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton. “Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say,” The New York Times, August 11, 2017. Archived August 14, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OtI8h 

    89. John Siciliano. “Trump administration lining up climate change 'red team',” Washington Examiner, July 24, 2017. Archived August 15, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/3SiNq

    90. Emily Holden. “Pruitt will launch program to 'critique' climate science,” E&E  News, June 30, 2017. Archived August 15, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/wyjPz

    91. Scott Waldman. “'Red teams' gain prominence to question climate scienceE&E News.

    92. Daniella Diaz. “EPA chief on Irma: The time to talk climate change isn't now,” CNN, September 7, 2017. Archived September 18, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/AYlYR

    93. Stop the loose talk about hurricanes and global warming,” The Hill, September 15, 2017. Archived September 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/scdkT

    94. Brad Plumer and Coral Davenport. “E.P.A. to Give Dissenters a Voice on Climate, No Matter the Consensus,” The New York Times, June 30, 2017. Archived October 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/x3foH

    95. EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump's America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of 'Clean Power Plan',” United Stated Environmental Protection Agency. October 10, 2017. Archived October 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0HcBp

    96. Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer. “E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule,” The New York Times, October 9, 2017. Archived October 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/E5cEn

    97. Eric Lipton. “E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide,” The New York Times, March 29, 2017. Archived October 27, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/TIZZ6

    98. (News Release). “EPA Administrator Pruitt Denies Petition to Ban Widely Used Pesticide,Environmental Protection Agency, March 29, 2017. Archived October 27, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/XAUYw

    99. SCOTT PRUITT,” America First Energy Conference. Archived November 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/EogSM

    100. SPEAKERS,” America First Energy. Archived October 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/OJWeX

    101. James Osborne. “Trump officials to appear at Houston event hosted by climate skeptics,” Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/XPtYc

    102. America First Energy Conference Stacked with Climate Change Deniers,” Climate Investigations Center, November 6, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mISrd

    103. At the Crossroads IV: Energy & Climate Policy Summit,” The Heritage Foundation, November 30, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jmAfj

    104. Rob Bluey. “Trump’s EPA Chief Charts a New Course: An Interview With Scott Pruitt,” The Daily Signal, October 20, 2017. Archived December 15, 2017. Archive.is URL:https://archive.is/FYxtp

    105. Kent Lassma. “President's Fall Policy Update,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, December 12, 2017. Archived December 28, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/eohIy

    106. Eli Stokols and Timothy Puko. “Scott Pruitt Aims to Accelerate His Efforts to Remake the EPA,” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2018. Archived January 31, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zOVuZ

    107. Scott Waldman and Niina Heikkinen. “Pruitt suggests warming can help humans,” E&E News, February 7, 2018.

    108. Gerard Ramahlo. “EXCLUSIVE: EPA Chief Scott Pruitt goes one-on-one with News 3,News3LV. Archived February 8, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OUieF

    109. Ben Jervey. “Pruitt, Auto Industry, and Climate Deniers Retreat Behind Closed Doors to Weaken Fuel Efficiency Targets,” DeSmog, April 4, 2018.

    110. (Press Release). “EPA Administrator Pruitt: GHG Emissions Standards for Cars and Light Trucks Should Be Revised,EPA, April 2, 2018. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL:https://archive.li/fVELH

    111. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Obama-Era Emissions Standards,” C-SPAN video, April 3, 2018. 

    112. Hiroko Tabuchi. “Calling Car Pollution Standards ‘Too High,’ E.P.A. Sets Up Fight With California,” The New York Times, April 2, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/VcUls

    113. As pressure over his scandals builds, Scott Pruitt blacklists reporters from EPA announcement,” Media Matters, April 3, 2018. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/nNYwa

    114. Clare Foran. “How EPA's Scott Pruitt avoided tough questions on Tuesday,” CNN, April 3, 2018. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/dF5tA

    115. EXCLUSIVE: More Cabinet trouble for Trump? EPA chief lived in condo tied to lobbyist 'power couple',” ABC News, March 29, 2018. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/wrD8d

    116. White House, Dems seek EPA answers on Pruitt's rental deal,” ABC News, April 2, 2018. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/KiYlA

    117. Administrator Pruitt Promotes Environmental Cooperation with U.S. Partners in Morocco,” EPA, December 12, 2017. Archived April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/qLmJF

    118. Rushed EPA ethics ruling on Pruitt condo deal 'problematic,' experts say,” ABC News, April 2, 2018.

    119. EPA chief Scott Pruitt's long list of controversies,” CNN, April 6, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/2wnc8

    120. Scott Pruitt’s job in jeopardy amid expanding ethics issues,” The Washington Post, April 6, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/eA6tt

    121. EPA's Pruitt says pay raises for aides 'should not have happened',” CNN, April 4, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/8WAx1

    122. Elaina Plott and Robinson Meyer. “Scott Pruitt Bypassed the White House to Give Big Raises to Favorite Aides,” The Atlantic, April 3, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/oqgrH

    123. Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Jennifer Jacobs. “EPA Chief’s $50-a-Night Rental Raises White House Angst,” Bloomberg, March 30, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/jWYQa

    124. Pruitt Had a $50-a-Day Condo Linked to Lobbyists. Their Client’s Project Got Approved.” The New York Times, April 2, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/qbBwz

    125. E.P.A. Officials Sidelined After Questioning Scott Pruitt,” The New York Times, April 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/POLSQ

    126. All the Lavish Items on Scott Pruitt's Problematic EPA Wish List,” Fortune, April 6, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/trddu

    127. EPA chief Scott Pruitt took first-class, military, charter flights that cost taxpayers more than $163,000 in first year alone: Report,” CNBC, March 21, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/0P82M

    128. Scott Pruitt’s $25,000 soundproof phone booth? It actually cost more like $43,000.” The Washington Post, March 14, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/kbJUS

    129. Senator: Pruitt security included Disneyland, Rose Bowl trips,” CNN, April 3, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/0Yhiy

    130. Trump bemoans how Pruitt is ‘TOTALLY under siege’,” Politico, April 6, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/f0Kkf

    131. Conservatives rally behind Pruitt,” E&E News, April 3, 2018. Archived April 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/KLH56

    132. EPA administrator under fire for travel and security choices,” Fox News, April 3, 2018.

    133. Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman. “Lawmakers’ Letter Claims Further Spending Abuses by the E.P.A. Head, Scott Pruitt,” The New York Times, April 12, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/YQ3SF

    134. Dear Administrator Pruitt,” Congress of the United States, April 12, 2018. Retrieved from DocumentCloud.

    135. Fox News' Ed Henry Won't Let Scott Pruitt Off The Hook In Testy Exchange,” HuffPost, April 4, 2018. Archived April 18, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/N2oV7

    136. Full interview: Scott Pruitt pushes back on controversies,” Fox News, April 4, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

    137. (Press Release). “Scott Pruitt Is Now Being Investigated By The House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector General,” U.S. House of Representatives, April 18, 2018. Archived April 19, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/TLESg

    138. Josh Siegel. “Scott Pruitt announces new EPA rule to combat 'secret science',” Washington Examiner, April 24, 2018. Archived April 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/d7avT

    139. Pruitt to unveil 'secret science' effort today — sources,” E&E News, April 24, 2018. Archived April 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/6eQLq

    140. Dear Administrator Pruitt,” United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, April 24, 2018.

    141. (Press Release). “PRUITT EXPOSED: Sierra Club Secures 24,000 Pages of EPA Emails, Call Logs and Documents,” Sierra Club, May 7, 2018. Archived May 8, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/IxSOr

    142. Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman. “E.P.A. Emails Show an Effort to Shield Pruitt From Public Scrutiny,” The New York Times, May 7, 2018.Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/baIsf

    143. Ex-Lobbyist for Foreign Governments Helped Plan Pruitt Trip to Australia,The New York Times, May 2, 2018. Archive.is URLhttp://archive.is/rxyXn

    144. Emails show Heritage Foundation offered Pruitt flights, hotel, and talking points for its conference,” ThinkProgress, May 8, 2018. Archive.is URLhttp://archive.is/zvKhr

    145. Scott Pruitt Used a Military Helicopter to Visit a Coal MineThe New Republic, May 8, 2018. 

    146. Pruitt fast-tracked California cleanup after Hugh Hewitt brokered meeting,” May 7, 2018. Archive.is URL:  http://archive.is/dEQgs

    147. Rebecca Leber. “The 10 Biggest Revelations From the Massive Trove of Internal EPA Emails,” Mother Jones, May 8, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/wAgB0

    148. Pruitt’s Plan for Climate Change Debates: Ask Conservative Think Tanks,” The New York Times, May 8, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/onsj5

    149. Top Federalist Society official initially paid for Scott Pruitt’s costly dinner in Rome, EPA officials confirm,” The Washington Post, May 7, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/YMCdm

    150. Influential outsiders have played a key role in Scott Pruitt’s foreign travel,” The Washington Post, May 3, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/0zdao

    151. Graham Readfearn. “EPA's Scott Pruitt Dined With Fellow Climate Science Denier and Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell, Documents Show,” DeSmog, May 10, 2018.

    152. Eric Lipton, Lisa Friedman and Kenneth P. Vogel. “A Lobbyist Helped Scott Pruitt Plan a Morocco Trip. Then Morocco Hired the Lobbyist,” The New York Times, May 1, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/0yPSI

    153. Stephanie Ebbs. “EPA chief Scott Pruitt defends Italy trip after increased scrutiny of travel costs,” ABC News, March 22, 2018. Archived May 14, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/tahk6

    154. Rebecca Leber. “The 10 Biggest Revelations From the Massive Trove of Internal EPA Emails.Mother Jones. May 7, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/wAgB0

    155. Jennifer A Dlouhy, Eric Roston. “Oil and Coal Executives Clamored for Time With Pruitt, Records Show,Bloomberg. May 8, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/wKDdS

    156. Adam Morton. “Climate sceptic group IPA suggested as co-host of Australian visit by Trump's environment chief,The Guardian, May 4, 2018. Archived May 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/4bCYk

    157. Scott Pruitt Twice Introduced Anti-Abortion Bills Giving Men ‘Property Rights’ Over Fetuses,” HuffPost, May 24, 2018. Archived May 25, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/VSiwD

    158. The Other Reason Trump Hasn't Fired Scott Pruitt: His Evangelical Christian Ties,” HuffPost, April 28, 2018. Archived May 25, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/x1y4j

    159. Tim Huselkamp. “Letter From the Heartland Institute to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt“ The Heartland Institute. June 7, 2018. .pdf Archived on DesmogBlog. 

    160. Brendan DeMelle. “Heartland Institute 'Red Team' Climate Lists Revealed, And Science Deniers Are Upset With Pruitt,” DeSmogBlog. October 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.li/qfvb5

    161. Scott Waldman. “Judge Orders EPA to Produce Science behind Pruitt’s Warming Claims,” Scientific American, June 5, 2018. Archived June 12, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.li/XpVrx

    162. Scott Pruitt resigns: Trump's scandal-ridden EPA chief steps down,” The Guardian, July 5, 2018. Archived July 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/tJvYc

    163. EPA leader Scott Pruitt out after numerous scandals,” CNBC, July 5, 2018. Archived July 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/QW1OI

    164. Scott Pruitt's full resignation letter to President Trump,” Fox News, July 5, 2018. Archived July 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/KUupC

    165. Scott Pruitt Personally Involved in ‘Ratf*cking’ Ex-Aides Who He Feels Betrayed Him,” Daily Beast, June 28, 2018. Archived July 9, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/hIc4C

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