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Ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt used personal email for government work

Posted on Saturday, 8th December 2018 @ 02:15 PM by Text Size A | A | A

Donald Trump’s first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator repeatedly violated agency policy to use personal email for government business, according to newly released public records.

Scott Pruitt – who left the administration this summer after months of controversy over his spending, travel and ties with industry – used his private email account for work over a period of months, according to records recently made available to the Sierra Club.

Someone forwarded the emails to Pruitt’s government account on the day he resigned. EPA policy requires employees to do so within 20 days of any correspondence via personal accounts.

Using personal rather than government email shields messages from public records requests and can put sensitive information at risk. Trump repeatedly criticized Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign for using a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.

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Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday in an attempt to block Scott Pruitt’s last act as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an act they say his replacement Andrew Wheeler declined to undo despite requests. On July 6, the EPA wrote two memos saying the makers of super-polluting “glider trucks,” new truck bodies using old engines, could ignore an Obama-era rule limiting the number of these vehicles to 300 per manufacturer per year.

While the long-overdue departure of ceaselessly corrupt EPA chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday was undoubtedly a small win for the public and the planet, environmentalists were quick to note that “there’s no happy ending to this story” as Pruitt is being replaced by former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who worked for years as an aide to fervent climate-denier Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

The Scott Pruitt saga is finally over: moments ago president Trump tweeted that he has accepted the resignation embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, adding that “within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday.

On Monday, Oklahoma became the first state to be granted a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dispose of its own coal ash, The Associated Press reported. The move displaces the federal government as the body responsible for coal ash disposal in EPA head Scott Pruitt’s home state. Coal ash is the residue left over from burning coal for power that often contaminates groundwater. It is a change that industry has lobbied for and environmental groups have opposed.

Embattled EPA Director Scott Pruitt went on national TV to announce on behalf of the US government that “I would not agree [CO2 is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see… There’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of the impact [of] human activity on the climate.”

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia is suing the Trump administration for blocking greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles that aimed to reduce air pollution and curb U.S. drivers’ contributions to the global climate crisis. In what critics called an “indefensible and frankly embarrassing decision,” last month Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt caved to automobile industry lobbyists’ demands and announced that his agency is drafting relaxed manufacturing rules for vehicles made between 2022 and 2025.

The EPA broke the law by installing a $43,000 soundproof phone booth for agency head Scott Pruitt. It’s just the latest in Pruitt’s series of flagrant wastes of taxpayer money on extravagant purchases, including luxury travel. No other EPA leader has required a soundproof booth, but Pruitt told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “It’s necessary for me to be able to do my job.”

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was personally involved in the purging of information from the agency’s website in the early months of the Trump administration, according to documents obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

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