Climate Change / Energy / Right-to-Know

The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. chief was arm in arm with industry

Devon Energy of Oklahoma since 2011 had secretly played a major role in drafting comment letters sent by Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma to President Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the then-E.P.A. Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, among others — letters that ask for actions that could help increase or protect the company’s profits.

WASHINGTON, DC — “During his tenure as attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, now the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch to roll back environmental regulations, according to over 6,000 pages of emails made public on Wednesday.

The publication of the correspondence comes just days after Mr. Pruitt was sworn in to run the E.P.A., which is charged with reining in pollution and regulating public health.

…The correspondence points to the tension emerging as Mr. Pruitt is now charged with regulating many of the same companies with which he coordinated closely in his previous position. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt took part in 14 lawsuits against major E.P.A. environmental rules, often in coordination with energy companies such as Devon Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas producer, and American Electric Power, an Ohio-based electric utility.

The emails show that his office corresponded with those companies in efforts to weaken federal environmental regulations — the same rules he will now oversee.”

— Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton, New York Times

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