by Max Brantley
The appointment of climate change-denying, fossil fuel ally Scott Pruitt is a complete environmental and public health disaster. Based on his record of putting polluter profits before people, Pruitt will undoubtedly be the most dangerous EPA Administrator in history.Someday, perhaps, thanks to a two-year-old legal effort, records of Pruitt will be dislodged to show just how firmly he's held in the pockets of energy companies. Resistance to transparency deprived the Senate of the full record on Pruitt, as Inside Climate News contends. From a report by Charles Pierce:
“While Attorney General, Pruitt sued EPA more than a dozen times—most often in an effort to stop EPA from cleaning up the air and water in our communities. Placing an active enemy of environmental protection in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency is mind-boggling.
“We are deeply disappointed in Senators Boozman and Cotton, who supported Pruitt despite his long record of fighting against clean air and water protections. Senators Boozman and Cotton were elected to represent our communities’ best interests, but this vote prioritizes corporate polluters over the health of Arkansas families.
The advocacy group filed the first of the records requests in January 2015, after a report the previous year by The New York Times detailed close ties between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies. In one example, Pruitt sent a letter to the EPA accusing the agency of overestimating the pollution coming from the state's gas wells. He failed to disclose, however, that the letter had been written by lawyers for Devon Energy, a drilling company…Six Democratic senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee had sent a letter on Wednesday to Judge Timmons, saying Pruitt had been evasive in his testimony and written responses, and had stymied their attempts to obtain information about his industry ties. "Mr. Pruitt has not been forthcoming with information many of us believe to be necessary to evaluating his nomination fully," they wrote. The Senators asked that the judge "consider the Senate's federal interest in disclosure as you assess whether to give Plaintiff full relief and order the prompt disclosure of all documents responsive to its requests."