WASHINGTON – EWG joined several members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to postpone a vote on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s confirmation to be Environmental Protection Agency administrator. The request comes as an Oklahoma court has scheduled a hearing for later this week over a lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, which seeks disclosure of email communications between Pruitt’s office and oil and gas industry officials.
Here is a statement from EWG President Ken Cook:
Republicans spent the better part of the presidential campaign demanding to see the emails of the Democratic nominee. One would hope Sen. McConnell and his colleagues will show the same resolve today and put off the vote on Scott Pruitt until the court in Oklahoma can complete its hearing.
If there are emails between Attorney General Pruitt and the oil and gas industry, the Senate and the American people deserve to know what may have transpired. In his repeated assaults on the EPA, Pruitt went to bat on behalf of the oil and gas industry, and the public deserves to know if there was any collusion between Pruitt and polluters before he’s installed as the head of the agency that regulates the same industry.
The persistence of our colleagues at the Center for Media and Democracy shows how public interest groups play a vital role in holding public officials accountable. If Pruitt is confirmed to head the EPA, public interest groups will be needed more than ever to hold the agency accountable to its mission of safeguarding public health and the environment.