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The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has delivered a number of emails to the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog NPO that has been looking into Pruitt’s relations with the oil and gas industry during his term as Attorney General of Oklahoma.
According to the Washington Times, the CMD has been after these emails – some 2,600 of them – for two years. The organization seems certain that Pruitt, who has been a vocal opponent of environmental regulations for the last eight years and an open climate change skeptic, has hidden information about his links with the energy industry during his confirmation hearing.
“Americans deserve to know what Pruitt has worked so hard to conceal throughout his confirmation process. As soon as we receive the documents, we will take a close look and make them available to the public as soon as possible,” said a research director for the CMD.
Pruitt’s nomination for the top job caused a predictable stir: he is notorious not just for his climate change skepticism, but also for several lawsuits that he filed during his time in the AG’s Office of Oklahoma against regulations originating from the EPA, such as regulations designed to reduce smog and toxic emissions from factories.
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With Pruitt at the helm of the EPA, the Clean Power Plan may not have long to live, critics of the nomination noted at the time it was announced, given his specific opposition to this crowning jewel in the Obama administration’s climate change efforts.
The EPA landing team of Trump’s administration also raised eyebrows: it includes three researchers formerly with think-tanks financially supported by the Koch brothers, who among other businesses have significant interests in oil and gas. Also among the members of the team are people who have openly voiced opposition to Obama’s administration’s efforts to fight climate change.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.