What Has Scott Pruitt Done So Far to Protect the Environment?

C O N T E N T S:


  • Scott Pruitt is the 14th administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.(More…)
  • As far as I?m concerned, we no longer have a federal EPAPruitt heads the E D A. It’s a shame, since we really need a federal agency to help protect the environment.(More…)


  • “The left doesn?t like Pruitt because he is Trump’s most effective appointee,” says Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com and a member of Pruitt’s EPA transition team.(More…)
  • Over the past few months alone, internal EPA teams have failed to identify any credible threats that would justify Pruitt’s $3 million budget for 24/7 security and expensive flights, the agency has grown increasingly authoritarian and hostile to climate science, and Pruitt reportedly wined and dined a Catholic cardinal accused of sexual abuse because they both were climate change skeptics.(More…)
  • “Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we’re setting records,” said Trump last week.(More…)


What Has Scott Pruitt Done So Far to Protect the Environment?
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Scott Pruitt is the 14th administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [1] It is no longer clear that Scott Pruitt is the best man to put Scott Pruitt’s ideas into effect. [2] The best reason Scott Pruitt might continue to survive his scandals for months and months, though, is that his removal would change nothing. [3] Here are some of the threats that allegedly require Scott Pruitt to fly first class. [4]

Just over a year into his job as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, security costs for Scott Pruitt have so far totaled about $3 million, the Associated Press reports, citing an EPA official. [5] “Trump filled his cabinet and government agencies with unqualified corporate cronies whose devastating impact on our environment cannot be understated,” he told DW. “Appointees like Scott Pruitt at the EPA and Ryan Zinke at the Department of the Interior use their positions of power to hand our government over to the fossil fuel industry.” [6] Scott Pruitt testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill, January 18, 2017 in Washington. [7]

WASHINGTON — Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected on Friday to send President Trump a detailed legal proposal to dramatically scale back an Obama-era regulation on water pollution, according to a senior E.P.A. official familiar with the plan. [8] Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier who refuses to accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the leading cause of global warming; he is using his perch at the Environmental Protection Agency to dismantle regulations on his buddies in the oil and gas industry; and he doesn?t even like the EPA, which is why he got the job in the first place. [9] Christine Todd Whitman, the first female governor of New Jersey and former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, tells DW why she believes Roy Moore’s accusers and why Scott Pruitt is damaging the EPA. [6] Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt spent $60,000 in federal money traveling via private planes, and he still has his job. [10] Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has announced a plan to scrap pollution-preventing standards set in 2012. [6] A Senate subcommittee voiced unanimous support for a measure that called attention to the scandals that have engulfed the Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator, Scott Pruitt. [7] The revelation that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt assigned a federal employee to procure employment for his spouse shows that he has embraced the spirit of the swamp more fully than any other Trump Cabinet member. [11]

The Obama administration’s regulation took a wide view of how far the federal government could go in its effort to protect waters; Mr. Trump directed Mr. Pruitt to take a far narrower view of the law. [8]

Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, the agency’s head, to do just that. [6] It can be tough to keep up with the many allegations of misconduct circulating about Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, because there’s so many of them flying out the door. [12] Members of the audience hold up signs that read “Fire Him” as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 16, 2018. [11] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly sent a senior aide to carry out several personal errands on his behalf over a period of several months, according to congressional transcripts. [13] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt holds up a hardhat he was given during a visit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company’s Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., on April 13. [14] Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, speaking with farmers in South Dakota on Tuesday. [8]

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is facing more scrutiny over alleged abuse of government resources. [13] “We?ve had months and months of stories about Scott Pruitt,” Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey told CNN. [12]

Since news broke that Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt maintained a strict policy of staying as far away from coach as possible, insisting instead on flying first class, business, or private for “safety” reasons, we’ve been treated to a deluge of anecdotes supporting his candidacy for Most Blatantly Corrupt Trump Official. [15] A Pennsylvania Republican Congressman accused EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of continuing to block publication of a federal government study that reportedly shows public health is at greater risk from a class of chemicals in the environment than the EPA says it is. [16] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has said states, “have the resources and expertise to deal with clean water and clean air issues.” [16] Scott Pruitt, Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has made no secret of his skepticism about the human role in driving climate change. [17]

Scott Pruitt wants to remake EPA as a business-friendly, less regulatory agency, but what gets the headlines is the succession of ethics issues – the $43,000 soundproof booth for his office; the sweetheart deal, renting a room from the wife of an EPA lobbyist; the efforts by Pruitt’s staff to line up a job for his wife. [18] PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we’re setting records. [18] Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt enlisted the help of a top aide to talk to “Republican donors who might offer his wife a job,” the Washington Post reports, and was eventually successful in getting her a position at conservative political group Judicial Crisis Network. [19] Amid an unceasing series of revelations about alleged ethical misconduct, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is rapidly losing support with influential Republican lawmakers and conservatives who, until now, have strongly backed Pruitt and the pro-fossil fuel deregulatory agenda he’s implemented. [18] Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is a true self-parody when it comes to comical abuses of power, and nothing about Pruitt is funnier than his obsession with being Extremely Safe. [20]

JONI ERNST: I think the president needs to have a really tough discussion with administrator Scott Pruitt and say, you need to get yourself in line, or you’re going to go. [18] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been swamped by scandal, from taking first-class flights at taxpayer expense to living in a lobbyist’s condo in D.C. [21] An ethics complaint has been filed over EPA Administrator Scott Pruitts new defense fund. [22] ” Scott Pruitt has a Midas touch for spawning scandal and his new tip jar suggests he does not know how to stop,” said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. [22]

A new report this weekend revealed the latest troubling news in the Scott Pruitt saga: The endlessly corrupt Trump administration either made a quid pro quo exchange for a sizable campaign donation, or they actually decided to care about the environment for a change. [23] “Trump’s environment chief Scott Pruitt suggests climate change could be good for humanity”. [24]

WASHINGTON — Newly filed reports show the Washington lobbyist linked to a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo leased by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt had far more contact with the agency than previously disclosed, despite repeated denials by both men. [25] Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), right, shakes hands with President Donald Trump at the White House, on Thursday, June 1, 2017, the day Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate pact. [26] Neither Trump nor his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. [24]

“EPA nominee Scott Pruitt won’t say if he would recuse himself from his own lawsuits against the agency”. [24] “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announces rollback of Obama-era auto fuel efficiency, emissions standards”. [24] EPA Administer Scott Pruitt hired former Oklahoma banker Albert Kelly to head the Superfund program, which is responsible for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated land. [24] In an open letter to Scott Pruitt, Mustafa Ali, former head of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Program who resigned in protest to Pruitt’s budget cuts, expressed concerns with how the budget cuts will effect pollution in poor and minority neighborhoods. [24] Wednesday morning, The Washington Post reported that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had a top aide at the agency call Republican donors to try to get his wife a job. [27] Then there is the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency is currently headed by an evangelical, the now-infamous Scott Pruitt. [28] FILE – In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt listens to questions as he testifies before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. [29] Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt bows his head in prayer during an event to mark the National Day of Prayer on May 3 in Washington. [28]

In May 2017, Scott Pruitt reversed President Obama’s decision, as he has with many Obama-era environmental protections, and allowed the permitting process to move forward. [23]

In April 2018, saying “those standards are inappropriate and should be revised,” Scott Pruitt announced that the EPA was rolling back the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency and emissions standards. [24] As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Trump’s choice for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt challenged EPA regulations in court more than a dozen times. [24] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed that decision in May 2017 and allowed the permitting process to move forward as well as accept public comments on the process. [23] In March 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt denied that he had met with Dow Chemicals CEO Andrew Liveris before making a decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide that had been initiated by the Obama administration. [24] The long knives (and brass knuckles) are clearly out for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. [29]

As far as I?m concerned, we no longer have a federal EPAPruitt heads the E D A. It’s a shame, since we really need a federal agency to help protect the environment. [30] Scott Pruitt’s abuse of our environment is far more dangerous than his abuse of taxpayer money. [31] President Trump continues to stand by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, despite mounting allegations of ethics violations against him so far. [32] “This is Scott Pruitt trying to outsource the job to protect our air and water to the exact people responsible for polluting them,” Brune said in a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News. [33] Such forward-looking projections are always subject to debate, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made a career out of attacking them, so conservationists were skeptical when he put out a call for public input into whether the agency should change its long-standing practices for evaluating costs and benefits, ostensibly to ensure continuity between administrations. [34] A month after starting as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt made a recruiting “plea” to top executives at the American Petroleum Institute, a major oil and gas trade group, according to internal emails obtained by BuzzFeed News. [33] Fox Business host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery and Reason magazine Editor at Large Matt Welch criticized Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt over his numerous ethical lapses and misuse of taxpayer money during a panel discussion on the June 18 episode of Fox Business? Kennedy. [32] Just a few months after the smoke had cleared, Flint Hills ranchers gathered in a farm shed amid Kansas? tallgrass prairie, telling Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt why the annual rite of spring is so important. [35]

You know, I mean, there’s some similar comparisons when it looked — when you think of what Trump did with his foundation to what Scott Pruitt is doing with taxpayer dollars. [32] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks with Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts during a visit to the Dedonder farm near Reading, Kansas. [35] At the end of his time at Dedonder Farms, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced that EPA has approved the registration submitted by Butamax Advanced Biofuels–a manufacturer of bioisobutanol, as an approved fuel additive. [35] Republican Senator Joni Ernst blasted allegations of ethical misconduct by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, calling him “about as swampy as you get.” [36] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks with local media following a press conference after taking a tour of the Black Thunder coal mine in March outside of Wright. [37] From left, Kevin Dedonder, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Jackie McClaskey are at the Dedonder farm near Reading, Kansas. [35] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, center, talks with farmers and ranchers at the Dedonder farm near Reading, Kansas, June 12. (Journal photo by Amy Bickel.) [35]

Why — since there’s about five of these stories per week for Scott Pruitt — the going theory is that he wants to keep him around in case he ever gets to fire Jeff Sessions, and then he’ll slide him over. [32]


“The left doesn?t like Pruitt because he is Trump’s most effective appointee,” says Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com and a member of Pruitt’s EPA transition team. [2] The New York Times reports that the lobbyist’s project was approved by the EPA. As I write, the Washington Post reports that last year he assigned an aide to help his wife, Marlyn Pruitt, secure a Chick-fil-A franchise as a ” potential business opportunity.” [3] In need of writing supplies, did Pruitt order Pilot pens and legal pads? Nah, he contracted for fancy stationery, leather-bound notebooks, and a dozen customized silver fountain pens–emblazoned with the EPA seal–from the high-end Washington shop Tiny Jewel Box. [3] That is not the unanimous opinion of the EPA: Much of the criticism directed against Pruitt is coming from within the agency and from former staffers. [2] The EPA insists Pruitt can?t fly coach for security reasons, but hasn?t elaborated. [4] These are not the only threats made against Pruitt or the EPA. They?re just the only ones that have been made public so far. [4] Since taking office as President Donald Trump’s first and so far only EPA chief, Pruitt has distinguished himself on two fronts: Obviously, he’s labored to annul many of the agency’s existing regulations. [3]

Like Trump, Pruitt remains defiant in the face of his loud critics, an attitude the president likes as long as it isn?t directed at him. [3] Trump is the sort of coach who loves having a player like Pruitt, who will give the bird to the other side with one middle finger and gouge them in the eye with the other. [3]

“Pruitt is not advancing the president’s agenda,” a former EPA staffer told me. [2] About a week before Pruitt was sworn in, a woman ” became loud and disorderly ” in the EPA headquarters lobby. [4]

Pruitt has 24/7 security detail, which “cost $832,735.40 in salary and travel expenses for his first quarter at the agency,” E&E reported. [4] Enthroned, Pruitt reportedly ” urged ” his security detail to run the permanent blockade that is Washington traffic by activating the vehicle’s lights and sirens so as to hustle him to the airport, meetings and his D.C. social engagements (including a trip to Le Diplomate, the fashionable French restaurant that he favors). [3]

Hit me again, Pruitt all but dares his critics, who include all the good-government types as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club –the environmental protection industrial complex–that have been pantsing the administrator with findings from their FOIA requests. [3] Update: Pruitt speaks! Associated Press correspondent David Eggert reported Wednesday afternoon that the administrator said he needs to fly first class to avoid, in Eggert’s words, ” unpleasant interactions with other travelers.” [4]

Pruitt takes a more conventionally Protestant view, one oriented toward stewardship, the belief that the Earth — and, in Pruitt’s view, the United States in particular — is here to feed the world and provide the raw materials of prosperity. [2] In Pruitt, the environment industrial complex and the president have found the perfect unity candidate. [3] Pruitt perseveres mostly because the president admires his swagger. [3]

These are times of puritanical populism, and Pruitt knew the deal when he took the job. [2] Pruitt reportedly does get far more threats than previous EPA administrators did, and he said in October that “it’s not just me–it’s family.” [4] How does Pruitt continue to defy the Washington furies, where lesser mortals fail every day? He’s not so much scandal-resistant as he is scandal-impervious. [3] Some of those probably are Obama administration holdovers who think Pruitt is the Prince of Darkness himself. [2] A report last month in E&E News revealed some of the threats made against Pruitt in 2017–and the cost of protecting him. [4]

Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the Environmental Protection Agency has refocused on its core responsibilities of protecting human health and the environment. [1] President Trump’s actions ensure that we will continue to promote America’s energy independence and economic growth, while also protecting the environment. [1]

Over the past few months alone, internal EPA teams have failed to identify any credible threats that would justify Pruitt’s $3 million budget for 24/7 security and expensive flights, the agency has grown increasingly authoritarian and hostile to climate science, and Pruitt reportedly wined and dined a Catholic cardinal accused of sexual abuse because they both were climate change skeptics. [12] While EPA security agents are required to protect Pruitt at all times both while he is working and during his off hours the two individuals said the administrator had asked members of the detail to perform tasks that go beyond their primary function. [14] These activities also likely violated ethics rules prohibiting gifts from EPA lobbyists to Pruitt, misuse of a subordinate’s official time and accepting gifts of personal services from subordinates. [11] Pruitt got one of his top aides, Milian Hupp, to perform tasks that had nothing to do with the EPA. These tasks included apartment hunting and–one of the most bizarre elements of all of Pruitt’s scandals–a request for an old mattress from a Trump hotel. [9] A major contributor to Mr. Pruitt’s campaigns in Oklahoma when Mr. Pruitt served in state government, Mr. Craft saw Mr. Pruitt at least seven times during his first 14 months at the E.P.A., agency records and emails show, and they were scheduled to appear together on at least two other occasions. [10] A second top Pruitt aide, senior adviser Sarah Greenwalt, informed colleagues on Wednesday that she also is leaving the EPA and returning to Oklahoma for work at a state agency. [14] As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt was a fierce foe of the EPA and initiated several lawsuits against the agency to stop it putting into place environmental regulation. [6] Following a report that Pruitt had an EPA aide tap Republican donors to find a job for his wife, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told Reuters that he wants Pruitt to address the steady flow of news reports in a hearing. [7] While Mr. Pruitt has initiated the rollback of dozens of environmental rules over the past year and a half, the latest one-two push comes as he is battling allegations that he improperly used his government post to secure a job for his wife. [8] For the same reason, EPA staffers have said, Pruitt switched to flying first class after an individual approached him in an airport last year and used vulgar language. [14] Pruitt is incredibly worried about his safety as head of the EPA. He is scared of basically everything! According to the Associated Press, when Pruitt arrived at the EPA, he all but dumped the person in charge of his security detail and replaced him with, “EPA Senior Special Agent Pasquale “Nino? Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who operates a private security company.” [9] EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said late Friday that an “unprecedented” amount of death threats against Pruitt is behind the sky-high security costs. [5] Before Hupp found him an apartment, Pruitt had been paying a DC lobbyist whose clients were regulated by the EPA just $50 a night to rent out a room in her luxury condo, another dealing the committee is investigating. [13] There was the $50-a-night sweetheart arrangement for a room rental from the spouse of an EPA lobbyist, and the follow-up work carried out by EPA staff to find another rental apartment for Pruitt. [11]

The second incident is much more revealing: According to the New York Times, the EPA says Pruitt paid Craft $130 for two seats reserved for seasonal ticket-holders who have donated at least $1 million to the University of Kentucky at one of the school’s biggest basketball games of the season–in cash, so there’s no receipt of Pruitt actually buying them rather than just wetting his beak a little. [12] Pruitt and EPA face about a dozen outstanding investigations into spending, policy and management issues. [7]

In his 2017 executive order directing Mr. Pruitt to rework the clean water regulation, Mr. Trump told Mr. Pruitt to be guided by the views of Antonin Scalia, the conservative Supreme Court justice who died in 2016. [8] Other times Pruitt has hung out with Craft include at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Florida during a National Mining Association board meeting (where he allegedly urged them to publicly support pulling out of the Paris climate accord ) and the time Pruitt met with the board of Craft’s company at the Trump International Hotel, the Times added. [12] During that same time, Hupp said, Pruitt also asked her to reach out the managing director of the Trump International Hotel in Washington to discuss the possibility of purchasing an “old mattress.” [9] Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s director of scheduling, testified in a closed-door meeting with congressional investigators that she spent months scouting a new apartment for Pruitt in a posh DC neighborhood, scheduled his family vacation to California and trip to the Rose Bowl over the winter holidays, and even looked into buying him a used “Trump Home Luxury Plush Euro Pillow Top” mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. [13] @SenJoniErnst: I support Sen. @JimInhofe’s call for a hearing on EPA Administrator Pruitt’s scandals; and I continue to urge the President to take a hard look at Mr. Pruitt’s actions – as I do not feel that Mr. Pruitt is serving @RealDonaldTrump’s best interests. [7] Pruitt himself is surrounded by one of the most extensive corruption scandals in U.S. political history, accused of using agency resources for personal gain. [6] Pundits in the U.S. doubt that Pruitt can stick it out at the agency much longer given the enormity of the accusations against him. [6]

With the news this morning that Pruitt was basically told to stop spending so much time at a White House cafeteria, I found myself thinking about how this man is always up to some really embarrassing and shady shit despite his relatively short tenure at the agency. [9] Trump, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and all the others in power who fail to hold Pruitt accountable for his ethical transgressions equally fail Lincoln’s leadership test. [11] These errands included meeting with realtors to find Pruitt a new apartment, booking his personal travel, and even attempting to buy him a mattress for his bed from the Trump hotel in DC. [13] “Administrator Pruitt follows the same security protocol whether he’s in his personal or official capacity,” spokeswoman Kelsi Daniell said. [14] That has led to allegations that Pruitt violated federal rules that prohibit officials from compelling subordinates to do personal favors for them or using their office to enrich themselves. [7] As EPA chief, Pruitt has received round-the-clock protection since he took office in February 2017. [14] The agency has been hit with mass resignations and firings since Pruitt took control and began cutting departments and programs. [6] Pruitt, who has denied the existence of climate change in the past, believes the agency is a large bloated monster producing regulation for regulation’s sake, stifling industry with red tape. [6] Pruitt, who also has enlisted agency staff in tasks that ranged from apartment hunting to securing a mattress for his personal use, faces congressional scrutiny over an expanding number of spending and management decisions. [14] “Instead, Mr. Pruitt is using this critical agency to do his personal bidding on the taxpayers’ dime. [14]

Pruitt invited the head of the Federalist Society to accompany him into an official meeting on environmental policy with a Vatican official, which could be construed as an improper endorsement of the group’s agenda. [11] That is more than Mr. Pruitt has met with representatives of any environmental group. [10] Mr. Pruitt’s attendance at the game, the details of which have not been previously reported, followed a year of regulatory victories for Mr. Craft, who maintains close ties to Mr. Pruitt even as he has lobbied the E.P.A. on issues important to his company, Alliance Resource Partners. [12] On Wednesday, Mr. Pruitt’s onetime political mentor, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, told the conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham that Mr. Pruitt needed to move past his management blunders and that it may be “time for him to go.” [8] Though pressure has been mounting around Pruitt’s various scandals for months–accompanied by around a dozen ethics investigations –the White House has more or less indicated that it is willing to tolerate the bad news because Pruitt has been very successful at pursuing his deregulatory agenda. [12] Pruitt loves a luxury trip funded entirely with public money! Documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy show that Pruitt spent nearly $68,000 on airfare and hotels from August 2017 to March 2018. [9] The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Thomas Carper of Delaware, reiterated his call that Pruitt step down. [14] A spokesman for Sen. John Barrasso, chair of the Senate environment committee, also told Reuters the Wyoming Republican plans to ask Pruitt to testify before year’s end. [7]

Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, has sparred with Pruitt for months over his efforts to change a federal program that could negatively impact the farmers in her state who supply corn for biofuels. [7] And, as soon as Monday, the same official said, Mr. Pruitt is expected to publish another major change: his agency’s legal proposal to gut President Barack Obama’s rule to reduce climate-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes. [8] President Donald Trump has so far refused to fire Pruitt, who is spearheading his administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations. [7] By any measure, Pruitt has failed the simplest test of leadership — that posed by President Abraham Lincoln: “If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” [11]

Pruitt rented a $50-a-night condo from the wife of a lobbyist, and also met with that lobbyist. around the same time he was. living in the lobby condo. [9] Pruitt, who has been under fire recently for what critics say is lavish spending of taxpayer money, was given a 20-member full-time security detail that is more than three times the size of that of his predecessor. [5] Pruitt has also allegedly abused the federal treasury by spending $1,560 on expensive ($130 each) fountain pens to give to foreign dignitaries, using his security detail to locate his favorite moisturizing lotion, procuring a $43,000 soundproof phone booth, and accepting a security detail triple the size of previous administrators’. [11]

Last week, Pruitt moved to kill an Obama-era Clean Water Rule, watering it down in a way that environmentalists say make it completely toothless. [6] A month earlier, Mr. Pruitt postponed enforcement of a rule barring coal-powered plants from dumping toxic metals into rivers, a move requested by a coal industry group with Mr. Craft on its board. [12] “It perhaps helps Pruitt show the White House that he’s still very effective, even while he’s under fire,” said Myron Ebell, who led Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. transition team and works for the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington organization. [8] Pruitt followed up these actions by giving some of his staff tens of thousands of dollars in raises using questionable hiring authority, after the White House declined to approve the raises using the proper procedures. [11]

Pruitt is currently the subject of 12 government investigations into allegations of excessive spending, abuse of government resources, and inappropriate connections to lobbyists. [13] Pruitt also tapped a lobbyist and the head of a conservative judicial group to facilitate and accompany him on his trips to Morocco and Rome, allowing them to personally benefit from their proximity to a senior Cabinet official. [11]

Pruitt has been scrutinized for insisting on flying first-class, spending $3.5 million on security, allowing huge raises for staff, and other extravagant purchases on the taxpayer’s dime. [13] Hupp used her work computer and email to coordinate the request around the time Pruitt was moving, but told congressional investigators that she was not sure if he ended up purchasing the mattress. [9] It was in Craft’s Kentucky hometown that Pruitt announced the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, just one month after he declined to enforce a regulation to stop plants running on coal from releasing toxins into rivers. [10] It’s perhaps fair to predict that Pruitt will emerge from this latest scandal–which finds him and his son enjoying a University of Kentucky basketball game from VIP floor seats belonging to a billionaire coal baron–with his job similarly intact. [10] Pruitt is accused of using his office to help his wife with a Chick-fil-A “business opportunity.” [9] Last year, Pruitt also directed Hupp’s younger sister to reach out to a senior executive at Chick-fil-A to inquire about a “business opportunity.” [9] This week, two more new eyebrow-raising about Pruitt emerged: One, that he’s spent an awful lot of money on fancy pens, and two, that his very cozy relationship with coal billionaire Joseph W. Craft III has included exchanges of college basketball tickets. [12] A Republican former Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt added that there needs to be more locations of the fast-food chain in his hometown of Tulsa. [9] The move came as two prominent Republican senators said they intend to summon Pruitt to the Hill to testify about allegations of self-dealing and wasteful spending. [7]

The Pruitt scandals have been particularly juicy lately, but it can be hard to keep track of them all. [9]

The protective detail cost taxpayers nearly $3.5 million during Pruitt’s first year on the job, according to EPA data, and is roughly triple the size of those of his immediate predecessors. [14] Pruitt’s continued presence at the EPA sends a powerful message to government employees everywhere that he, President Donald Trump and congressional leadership believe Pruitt’s unethical behavior is not only condoned but should be a model. [11] Pruitt’s incessant use of his public office and its employees for personal gain reveals a systemic pattern of corruption — one that has a corrosive impact on the integrity of EPA programs and services. [11] How can any American — no matter what he or she may think of environmental regulation — now feel any confidence that EPA is functioning to serve anyone’s interests besides Pruitt’s? Even erstwhile far-right supporters like the American Future Fund, a dark money group sometimes funded by the Koch brothers, and the Fox News host Laura Ingraham are now calling for him to go, and rightly so. [11]

Despite the ongoing scandal, President Trump has refused to call for Pruitt’s resignation. [6] Until now, Republicans have rarely sought to draw attention to Pruitt’s scandals, including during his appearances on the Hill. [7] At least 20 members of Congress, including three Republicans, have so far called for Pruitt’s resignation. [13]

Pruitt’s use of his subordinates to perform nonofficial duties has already caused upheaval within the agency. [14] Hupp’s testimony before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is just one piece of several separate investigations lead by an array of government agencies looking into Pruitt’s spending habits, conflicts of interest, and potentially inappropriate connections to lobbyists. [13] Several investigators are probing the incident that unleashed a torrent of subsequent media reports: Pruitt’s arrangement to lease a Capitol Hill condo linked to an energy lobbyist for just $50 a night, and only on nights he stayed there. [7]

A new report concludes that the damage already done by the Trump administration to the environment, and the U.S. agency that regulates it, will result in 80,000 deaths each decade. [6] “Americans deserve an EPA administrator who will work to carry out the agency’s mission to protect the public’s health and our environment,” Carper said Thursday. [14]

U.S. President Donald Trump has taken action to reverse an Obama-era rule that protects water from pollution nationwide. [6]

Out of the changes made so far, Ross says the opening up of public lands for drilling and mining and rolling back clean air and water protections would be the hardest moves to undo. [6] According to an analysis by the New York Times using Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, which is keeping a running tally of the regulatory dismantling program, the Trump administration has so far initiated the reversal of 67 environmental laws. [6] So far the President has stood resolutely behind his embattled EPA administrator. [12]

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruit’s latest scandal revolves around the apparent use of an aide to run personal errands for him during work hours, often uncompensated. [13] When we were working together in the Obama White House, even a single one of these actions — a conflicted request to find a job for a spouse or any of Pruitt’s others — would have been a firing offense. [11] Pruitt’s use of an aide for these errands could land him in murky territory with federal law. [13] “A new administration would need a truly environment-focused agenda to reverse much of Pruitt’s damage,” he says. [6]

“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA. I mean, we’re setting records,” said Trump last week. [18] Pruitt said at a national EPA summit on PFAS last week that the EPA will consider whether to set “maximum contaminant limits” for PFOA and PFOS, and that the agency will write a national management plan on the issue by the end of the year. [16] Pruitt has spent nearly double the amount on security as previous EPA heads, according to the New York Times. [20] The wildly unpopular Pruitt, who was appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency by Trump, is now infamous for using taxpayer dollars t o cover his lavish lifestyle. [38] The special access for Mr. Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, also included watching from the players’ entrance as the team streamed onto the court, and posing for a photo with a star player in the locker room area. [15]

” Rather, Hupp told aides on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Pruitt had “spoken with someone at the Trump hotel who had indicated there could be a mattress he could purchase, an old mattress he could purchase,” and that the administrator “had expressed interest in securing a mattress” to her. [15] “It also makes it practically impossible for Pruitt to make the case for the Trump administration’s environmental policies — a case that we continue to believe deserves to be made.” [18] The American Future Fund, a political nonprofit, is running a campaign-style television ad calling Pruitt a “swamp monster” and using a clip of President Trump when he hosted “The Apprentice” saying “You’re fired.” [18] Through it all, President Trump and many conservatives have defended Pruitt. [18]

Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the one-year lag time is a “huge concern,” given the issues for which Pruitt is already under investigation, including a favorable deal he had for a condo rental in Washington, D.C., with the wife of a lobbyist who had business with the agency. [22] According to the ruling, Pruitt has until July 11 to produce “an explanation for any documents withheld in full or in part” from a FOIA request filed by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the plaintiff in this case. [17] After Pruitt ignored an FOIA request for studies supporting his view that humans are not the primary contributor to climate change, environmental advocates turned to the courts. [17]

Secret phone booth – Pruitt had a secure communications facility installed next to his office for $43,000, despite the fact that EPA already has a secure communications facility on another floor. [21] Unauthorized pay raises – EPA awarded two close Pruitt associates exorbitant pay raises despite orders from the White House directing them to not. [21] Contempt for media – Pruitt has gone so far as to bar certain media members from covering EPA events. [21] “Allowing this Pruitt slush fund signals that the entire Trump cabinet can do the same thing, making our Capitol a far more ethically swampy place than it has ever been.” [22]

His director of scheduling and advance, Millan Hupp, says Pruitt asked her to perform personal tasks, which included a request for a Trump hotel mattress. [19] It also suggests that Pruitt will face as much scrutiny on the defense fund as he has for his behaviors on issues ranging from his rent to his travel expenses, office furnishings and personal security. [22] Misuse of time, influence and taxpayer money – Pruitt aides say helping with their boss? personal life is all part of the job. [21] Deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, would be a likely candidate for the job, were it to be vacated by Pruitt. [18] Sweetheart condo deal – Pruitt received a below-market-value housing arrangement from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist whose clients stood to potentially gain from actions taken by the administrator. [21]  Jahan Wilcox, an E.P.A. spokesman, told the Times, “Administrator Pruitt and Joe Craft are longtime friends,” and did not comment further. [38]

Pruitt met with the American Petroleum Institute as EPA attempted to lift limits on methane pollution from oil and gas operations. [21] Fitzpatrick was one of a bipartisan group of 13 House members who wrote jointly to Pruitt in mid-May asking him to release the study from another federal unit, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. [16] Pruitt is facing multiple ethics scandals from his actions since taking over the agency. [18] “I support Sen. Inhofe’s call for a hearing on EPA Administrator Pruitt’s scandals; and I continue to urge the President to take a hard look at Mr. Pruitt’s actions — as I do not feel that Mr. Pruitt is serving President Trump’s best interests,” tweeted Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa later in the day. [18] Secret schedule – In contrast to long-standing EPA practice, begun by President Reagan’s EPA chief, William Ruckelshaus, Pruitt kept his schedule of events secret until forced to release it. [21] Despite his questionable behavior, Pruitt continues to have support from the President. [19]

Special waivers – Two senior Pruitt aides were granted special waivers to work for undisclosed outside clients while continuing to work at the agency. [21] Pruitt lieutenants also sidestep waivers: Pruitt used a loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act to bring in Nancy Beck from the chemical industry’s lobbying arm to run the Office of Chemical Safety. [21] Mr. Pruitt’s attendance at the game, the details of which have not been previously reported, followed a year of regulatory victories for Mr. Craft, who maintains close ties to Mr. Pruitt even as he has lobbied the E.P.A. on issues important to his company, Alliance Resource Partners. [15] Then there is the $1,560 Pruitt spent on 12 customized fountain pens from a Washington, D.C., jewelry store. [21] Pruitt requested that his 24/7 security detail help him find “a favorite moisturizing lotion” offered at Ritz-Carlton hotels, and retrieve his dry cleaning without him, the Washington Post reported. [19]

While the Post says Pruitt has apparently attempted to “minimize his personal expenses since moving to Washington,” a standard queen version of the item he was after, without a box spring, costs $1,399 before tax and shipping, while a king retails at $1,750. [15] It has since been revealed that Pruitt was willing to fly coach when taxpayers weren?t footing the bill. [21]

While in Oklahoma, Pruitt and four associates used a shell company to purchase a home from an Oklahoma lobbyist whose employer regularly had business before state lawmakers. [21] To set up the defense fund, Pruitt selected Cleta Mitchell, a political lawyer who is a former Oklahoma state legislator and past chair of the American Conservative Union. [22]

The new complaint says few individuals or corporations would be able to contribute to the fund without putting Pruitt in the position of violating ethics standards because his job and his broad efforts to roll back environmental regulations touch so many industries. [22] Pruitt claimed that harsh public comments required him to fly first class. [21] Favors from industry – Pruitt reportedly received courtside seats to a Kentucky basketball game from a billionaire coal baron and was given tickets to the Rose Bowl by an executive at a public relations firm that has a large energy practice. [21]

As dumb and corrupt as Pruitt is, the foremost scandal is the fact that he’s allowed his department to be warped into a feckless tool of the energy industry, with an ethos that places business above sound science and the very real, pressing need to combat climate change. [20] Pruitt has previously expressed interest in having “red team, blue team” debates about the human role in climate change, but White House chief of staff John Kelly shot down the idea. [17] As Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported at the beginning of May, that support has been wavering as the negative coverage piles on, and everyone else in the White House wants Pruitt out. [19]

Thanks to a June 1 ruling by Beryl Howell, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Pruitt can no longer keep the reasoning behind his opinion secret. [17] Ernst and fellow Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley have particularly clashed with Pruitt over rules around the use of ethanol. [18] Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican and a defender of ethanol, said Pruitt is as swampy as you get. [18] OVERBY: The same day, Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana blasted Pruitt on CNN. [18]

Pruitt also received help from a lobbyist in planning a $100,000 trip to Morocco. [21] First-class flights and lavish travel – It was revealed that Pruitt often flew first class or charter and military planes at very high cost to taxpayers. [21]

Pruitt’s ethical lapses have not crimped President Trump’s support for his top environmental regulator. [18] Inhofe is one of Pruitt’s political mentors and allies from his home state of Oklahoma and said the Senate should hold hearings into Pruitt’s scandals. [18] OVERBY: The conservative magazine National Review called for Pruitt’s departure, and yesterday came possibly the hardest blow of all from a home state friend of Pruitt’s, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe. [18]

During a regular press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., deflected questions about Pruitt’s controversies. [18]

Advocates for tighter control on PFAS have long been pressing EPA to set legally enforceable limits on the chemicals, but the agency has so far only issued health advisories. [16] In Pennsylvania, officials use the EPA health guideline of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS combined, but advocates say the standard needs to be much stricter to protect public health. [16]

None of which, one assumes, will have any impact on Pruitt’s continued employment, as the president has made clear there is virtually nothing this guy can do to get fired, as long as he’s gutting Obama-era regulations and treating the environment like a mattress so foul it belongs in a Russian hotel room. [15] She has covered environment, science, law, and business in Washington, D.C. for more than two decades. [22] A Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-profit, non-partisan news organization dedicated to covering climate change, energy and the environment. [22]

The Washington Post reported that the legal defense fund was set up by Mitchell, who told the newspaper that “Scott has been a friend and client for a long time.” [22]

“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA,” Trump said Friday. [27] “Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head the EPA, has sued the EPA”. [24]

Of greater importance in the work to safeguard clean air and water, about 700 EPA staff have left the agency since Pruitt took over. [39] Internal EPA emails have shed light on how Pruitt had an agency staffer contact Dan Cathy, an executive at the fast food chain Chick-fil-A, over a “potential business opportunity”. [39]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(40 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

1. (33) Environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration – Wikipedia

2. (24) Why Scott Pruitt Has Survived His Many Scandals–So Far – The Atlantic

3. (18) As The Scandals Mount, Conservatives Turn On Scott Pruitt | BPR

4. (17) Heres how Pruitts ethics keep coming into question | Environmental Defense Fund

5. (16) Trump’s lasting damage to the environment | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 21.06.2018

6. (14) As ethics advisers, we thought we'd seen it all. Scott Pruitt shocks us. – Chicago Tribune

7. (14) A scandal for all seasons: those Scott Pruitt ethics violations in full | Environment | The Guardian

8. (12) Scott Pruitt enlisted security detail in picking up dry cleaning, moisturizing lotion The Denver Post

9. (12) Senators sent coded message to EPA’s Scott Pruitt: Follow ethics rules

10. (12) http://theslot.jezebel.com/a-running-list-of-every-shady-ass-thing-scott-pruitt-ha-1826638028

11. (11) EPA administrator Scott Pruitt sent aide to find him a Trump mattress – Business Insider

12. (11) NY Times issues major correction in hit piece targeting EPA Pruitt’s daughter – Washington Times

13. (11) How Does Scott Pruitt Survive? – POLITICO Magazine

14. (10) http://gizmodo.com/scott-pruitt-spent-3-200-on-stationery-took-vip-baske-1826521668

15. (10) Pruitt’s Defense Fund Draws Ethics Complaint: Critics Call It His “Tip Jar? | InsideClimate News

16. (10) Lobbyist tied to EPA chiefs condo tried to influence agency | Boston Herald

17. (8) Here are some of the threats that allegedly require Scott Pruitt to fly first class. | The New Republic

18. (8) Scott Pruitt, Under Fire, Plans to Initiate a Big Environmental Rollback – The New York Times

19. (7) Scott Pruitt’s true believers are losing the faith

20. (6) Why Is Trump’s Most Corrupt Minion Obsessed with Used Mattresses? | Vanity Fair

21. (6) Rep. Fitzpatrick: “Unacceptable? for Pruitt to say he can?t release chemical study | StateImpact Pennsylvania

22. (6) Evangelicals? lack of environmentalism explains Scott Pruitt.

23. (5) Scott Pruitt Has Gotten Himself Into Yet Another Ethics Scandal

24. (5) Scott Pruitt Has Until July 11 to Explain His Climate Skepticism, Judge Rules – Motherboard

25. (5) Go deeper: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s list of bizarre scandals – Axios

26. (5) How Trump Could Get Scott Pruitt to Fire Robert Mueller

27. (5) Environmental Protection Agency administrator tells Flint Hills ranchers he?ll work to provide clarity regarding prescribed springtime burning | Ag News | hpj.com

28. (4) Democrats.org: Change that Matters

29. (4) Scott Pruitt and the Chemical Industry Collude to Deregulate Toxic Chemicals

30. (4) Reason magazine’s Matt Welch on Fox Business: Scott Pruitt is an “incompetent, corrupt boob”

31. (3) EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt: Trump put America first when he withdrew from Paris Accord one year ago | Fox News

32. (3) http://splinternews.com/scott-pruitt-has-spent-nearly-5-million-on-security-i-1827007345

33. (3) Report: EPA Head Scott Pruitt’s Security Expenses Hit $3 Million – The Daily Beast

34. (2) EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Encouraged Oil Executives To Apply For Top Agency Jobs

35. (2) Report Reveals Ties Between EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and Oil Tycoon | Complex

36. (1) Scott Pruitt’s Corruption Is Bad, But His Planetary Sabotage Is Worse

37. (1) You Have Until Friday The 13th Of July To Tell Scott Pruitt What You Think Of Environmental Costs And Benefits – Forest Trends

38. (1) Ernst says Pruitt is ‘about as swampy as you get’ | Farm Futures

39. (1) Pruitt calls for selling Wyoming coal to Asia | Energy Journal | trib.com

40. (1) As The Scandals Mount, Conservatives Turn On Scott Pruitt . News | OPB