WASHINGTON – Thousands of emails between the Oklahoma attorney general’s office and the fossil fuel industry reveal in detail how the state’s former Attorney General Scott Pruitt – now head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – coordinated his attacks on the EPA with oil and gas companies.
“This extensive trail of emails provides more proof that polluters who helped fund Scott Pruitt’s political career got their money’s worth, as he wielded his power on their behalf as Oklahoma’s attorney general,” said EWG President Ken Cook.
“Polluters and front groups gave him the Cliffs Notes on which he formed his outlook on environmental protection. When, on his first day at the agency, Scott Pruitt told EPA staff that energy development needn’t conflict with environmental protection, you have to believe he means the minimal protection for air and water that Koch, Devon Energy and other fossil fuel interests always have in mind.”
On Tuesday, a state judge in Oklahoma ordered Pruitt’s former office to release more than 7,500 pages of emails and other documents as part of a lawsuit and open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy. 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.
Here is the rest of Cook’s statement:
This extensive trail of emails reads like a years-long chain of love letters between soul mates.
No wonder Scott Pruitt couldn’t find time to enforce a single environmental protection law while serving as Oklahoma attorney general. He and his staff were too busy communicating and colluding with fossil fuel industry executives and industry front groups over plans to stop President Obama’s efforts to protect clean air and water, and save thousands of lives.
With outrageous disregard for the public interest, Mitch McConnell didn’t think Americans had the right to see for themselves the breadth and depth of complicity between Pruitt and big polluters before he was entrusted with the biggest environmental job in the world.
Judging by these documents, as head of the EPA, Pruitt will oversee a fire sale of public health and environmental safeguards at the behest of big polluters. Americans who care about clean air and water, children’s health and our irreplaceable natural resources must take a stand between the radical anti-environment agenda of Scott Pruitt and President Trump, and their polluter pals.