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Less Than 1 Percent of All Pruitt's Meetings Have Been With Environmental or Science Groups

That's only five meetings.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
12 OCT 2017
 

We now have explicit evidence that Scott Pruitt is prioritizing industry interests over environmental protections, thanks to some number crunching by CNN and The New York Times.

 

Ever since Pruitt took over the EPA, he has made clear his unwavering support for the fossil fuel industry and described Obama-era environmental policies placed upon them as "regulatory assault."

Now, extensive examination of the EPA administrator's travel reports reveal Pruitt has disproportionately allocated his time to industry players.

According to CNN, "Of all of the meetings Pruitt has held in person or on the phone, the majority have been with fossil fuel industry stakeholders."

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To be exact, nearly 25 percent of all his meetings from April to early September have been held with industry representatives. In comparison, he has held only five meetings with environmental or science groups, a mere 1 percent of all his meetings.

Close examination of the findings reveal that Pruitt meets the most with representatives from the oil, gas, electric and biofuel industries. Meanwhile, meetings with representatives from the agriculture and manufacturing sector come a close second and third, respectively.

"These travel records show that administrator Pruitt is more focused on cultivating his relationships with industry and conservative political organizations…than he is on protecting the environment and the public health for the rest of America," said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

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Nevertheless, a spokesperson from the EPA defended Pruitt's time allocations in an email to the Times, arguing that "the agency is now meeting with those ignored by the Obama administration."

But while it is true that Obama's EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy met more with environmentalists, she still met regularly with industry representatives, according to a copy of her schedule obtained by the Times.

 

On the other hand, the Time's extensive examination of Pruitt's daily schedule reveals a direct link between his meetings and actions that the industry wants him to take. For instance, it was found that industry executives "often scored meetings to press Mr. Pruitt to kill or modify Obama-era climate change regulations, particularly the Clean Power Plan."

The EPA calendar notes a conference call in May with industry executives who were "leading the Clean Power Plan pushback in their state and are advocates for devolving decision making to the local level."

So it should come as no surprise that today Pruitt announced his decision to roll back the Clean Power Plan, declaring, "The war on coal is over."