Pruitt earns dubious award
The Investigative Reporters and Editors group named U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as the winner of its annual Golden Padlock Award. The award is given to the nation's most secretive agency or individual.
Pruitt's failure to abide by open record laws in responding to requests from the Center for Media and Democracy for his communications with the fossil fuel industry when he was the Attorney General of Oklahoma prompted CMD to file suit earlier this year. The lawsuit is still pending.
The public has a right to know how close the head of the EPA is with the industry he is supposed to be policing under federal laws to protect our water, air, and planet from the harms of climate change.
The Golden Padlock Award states: "Scott Pruitt was selected for this honor for steadfastly refusing to provide emails in the public interest and removing information from public websites about key environmental programs."
Through its lawsuit, CMD was able to obtain some of the public records, which proved that Pruitt "closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers to roll back environmental regulations."
Now, in his new role being paid by federal taxpayers, Pruitt's EPA is advancing their agenda, and the agency has even begun to purge climate change data from its public website.
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