Pruitt questions agency's authority to regulate carbon
Feb 25 2017
In response to a judge's order, the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office on February 21 released 7,564 pages of emails, many of which reveal the close relationship EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had with a number of energy companies and lobbyists for the industry when he was attorney general. They also show a close relationship between Pruitt and oil and gas exploration and production firm Devon Energy, it said. "No right-wing cause seemed to be off-limits to Pruitt's public office as he focused on weakening protections for the climate and endangered species". In addition, the agency says, Pruitt "strongly believes that environmental law, policy and progress are all based on cooperation between the states, cooperation between the states and EPA, and cooperation between regulators and the public".
The CMD was looking into possible ties Pruitt may have had with energy companies. Reflecting on the time he spent earlier in the day greeting EPA career staff in his office, Administrator Pruitt said, "It was an honor and a joy to meet and spend time with the career people at EPA who are clearly very dedicated to their work".
Some conservatives also are pressing Pruitt to go further and undo the legal underpinning for many Obama-era environmental rules by questioning the scientific basis for them. Tester also made it very clear that from his conversations with Pruitt he received no assurance that he would protect these important industries in Montana.
"Have you ever conducted business using your personal email accounts, nonofficial Oklahoma Attorney General email accounts, text messages, instant messenger, voicemails, or any other medium?" Sen. For example, on at least one occasion, Pruitt put an energy company's complaint onto state letterhead, making it appear as if it were coming directly from the attorney general. He was confirmed on Friday with two Democrats from energy-producing states voting for him.
His narrow confirmation is secure-Pruitt addressed EPA employees as their new boss just yesterday-but a trove of e-mails sent from Pruitt's office during his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general was released yesterday evening.
However, Oklahoma Gas and Electric complained that many new EPA regulations and enforcement actions were caught up in litigation, with environmental groups like the Sierra Club often intervening, creating financial uncertainty for a company that provides energy to millions of Oklahomans.
Pruitt, as Oklahoma's attorney general, sued the EPA more than a dozen times, including in opposition to the agency's landmark greenhouse gas emissions regulations known as the Clean Power Plan.
If they have their way the outcome that really brings out the champagne glasses in this crowd of know-nothings and deniers would not be the complete destruction of the EPA but rather its devolution into a hollow shell that they can pretend still shields the environment while eliminating those allegedly "burdensome" regulations that actually do so.
"Those that we regulate ought to know what we expect of them, so that they can plan and allocate resources to comply", Pruitt told his new employees yesterday. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., denied calls from fellow senators to postpone Pruitt's confirmation vote until the emails were released and available for scrutiny. On his LinkedIn, Pruitt described himself as a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda". "I thought we should insert a sentence or two regarding the recent EPAreport indicating their initial estimates on methane emissions for two categories were too high", Eubanks wrote in a May 2013 email to Bill Whitsitt, Devon's executive vice president of public affairs.