The new EPA chief had a “very cozy” relationship with fossil fuel.
OLIVER MILMAN AND DOMINIC RUSHEFEB. 22, 2017 2:55 PM
Joshua Roberts/Reuters via ZUMA Press
This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
The close relationship between Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and fossil fuel interests including the billionaire Koch brothers has been highlighted in more than 7,500 emails and other records released by the Oklahoma attorney general's office on Wednesday.
The documents show that Pruitt, while Oklahoma attorney general, acted in close concert with oil and gas companies to challenge environmental regulations, even putting his letterhead to a complaint filed by one firm, Devon Energy. This practice was first revealed in 2014, but it now appears that it occurred more than once.
The emails also show that American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, an oil and gas lobby group, provided Pruitt's office with template language to oppose ozone limits and the renewable fuel standard program in 2013. AFPM encouraged Oklahoma to challenge the rules, noting: "This argument is more credible coming from a state." Later that year, Pruitt did file opposition to both of these regulations.
The letters also show the cozy relationship between Pruitt and the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), the influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses, and other lobby groups sponsored by the Koch brothers, the billionaire energy investors who have spent decades fighting against environmental regulation.
Alec has consistently challenged the science on climate change and fought against tougher environmental regulation. Companies including Google, Ford and Enterprise Rent-a-Car have quit Alec in protest of its climate change activities.
The emails contain correspondence between Pruitt's executive assistant and Amy Anderson, Alec director and Oklahoma membership contact, about Pruitt's appearance at a May 2013 Alec board meeting in Oklahoma City.