Financial Backers of EPA Pick Pruitt Have Faced 100s of Pollution Actions

"At least 15 companies with financial ties to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency, have faced hundreds of EPA enforcement actions, which are the basic tool the agency uses to enforce environmental rules and laws.

Among the Pruitt donors with enforcement cases against them in recent years are Continental Resources, an oil company that contributed to Liberty 2.0, a pro-Pruitt Super PAC; Murray Energy, which was a co-party in eight of 14 lawsuits Pruitt filed against the EPA and contributed to his political campaigns; and Devon Energy, which raised money for the Republican Attorneys General Association when Pruitt led it and whose lawyers penned a letter that Pruitt sent to the EPA. Peabody Energy, whose executive Fred Palmer contributed to Pruitt’s 2014 re-election campaign for Oklahoma attorney general, is the parent company of 12 separate coal companies that have faced EPA enforcement actions. In addition to the energy companies, the agricultural company Monsanto, which contributed to Pruitt’s 2010 and 2014 election campaign, has been named in 96 formal administrative cases, according to EPA records. It’s impossible to tally a complete list of the enforcement cases filed against Pruitt donors because some donations, such as those to the most recent pro-Pruitt PAC, Protecting America Now, can be made secretly.

Some of the enforcement actions were small, such as the investigation and citation that led the EPA to fine Chesapeake Energy $500 for discharging oil into a waterway flowing into Kentucky’s Cumberland River — that was one of four cases brought by the EPA against Chesapeake. ...

But other enforcement efforts were much larger, such as the one that resulted in a settlement with Southern Coal and 26 affiliated mining companies in 2016. Southern Coal is a division of Southern Power, which has been co-party in four of Pruitt’s 14 suits against the EPA."

Sharon Lerner reports for The Intercept February 14, 2017.


"Senate Dems Want Pruitt Vote Delayed Over Emails" (The Hill)

"Pruitt Opponents Seek Emails Linked To Fossil Fuel Industry" (ClimateWire)

"Pruitt, Ethics Lawyers Will Get To Know Each Other" (Greenwire)

Source: The Intercept, 02/15/2017