Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Lobbyist with links to Pruitt had clients facing EPA

Lobbyist with links to Pruitt had clients facing EPA

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt to resign Friday in light of mounting allegations of ethics violations including petitioning for large pay raises for two of his top aides.

Most risky is news that, according to a March 30 memo, Pruitt has signed a directive to give him more authority over environmental regulations for projects near regional waterways.

Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff John Kelly, have nearly universally turned against Pruitt, according to White House aides.

Buffeted by current questions over his spending and administration on the EPA, Administrator Scott Pruitt has thus far maintained the general public assist of the one one that determines his destiny, President Donald Trump.

"Scott Pruitt's unethical behavior, wasteful use of taxpayer money, and his efforts to undermine the EPA's core mission to protect our environment and public health demand an appropriate response: his resignation or his firing", the Democrats wrote. Part of this is to make certain no environmental considerations stand in the way of building Trump's wall on the border with Mexico, if that ever happens.

Pruitt is also facing scrutiny for leasing a room in a condominium in Washington's tony Capitol Hill neighborhood for $50 per night from the wife of an energy industry lobbyist. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings.

More questions surfaced as Trump commented on Pruitt.

In recent weeks, Trump's secretary of state, national security adviser, economic czar, and Veterans Affairs chief have all either been fired or resigned.

Upon taking office at the EPA, Pruitt wasted little time in carrying out the agenda set out for him by his corporate backers.

"I don't", he told The Oklahoman. "I think he'll be fine".

Trump also took to Twitter, both to dismiss rumours that he was replacing Attorney-General Jeff Sessions and to proclaim that Pruitt "is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege".

The chamber is set for a procedural vote on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler for deputy EPA administrator, the agency's No. 2 position.

Almost three dozen EPA security and law enforcement agents were assigned to Pruitt, according to a summary of six weeks of weekly schedules obtained by Democratic Sen.

The EPA's top ethics officer said last week that based on a narrow review of just the lease terms, the bedroom was rented for a fair "market value" and therefore the arrangement did not constitute a violation of federal gift bans for government employees.

But the office issued a memo, dated on Wednesday and seen by Reuters, that the earlier review did not consider whether Pruitt had violated other ethics rules with the lease.

Pruitt was further exposed as a puppet for the energy industry when it was revealed by the New York Times that a letter signed by him and sent to the EPA in 2014 criticizing regulations of new natural gas wells in his state was authored by attorneys for Devon Energy, another Oklahoma Energy company, and was hand delivered to Pruitt by the company's chief lobbyist for his signature. Asked what he thought about it on Thursday on Air Force One, he paused, smiled wryly, and said: "It's an interesting interview". An official told the AP that the intense protection is necessary because Pruitt has attracted so many death threats, but there are no records of any investigations into threats against him and the agency provided none when the AP requested them. Republicans in Congress need to end their complicity, and finally take action to hold Pruitt and this Administration accountable for their abuses.

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