Environmentalists Rejected A Chance To Meet With Scott Pruitt

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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An environmental group declined an offer to meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2017 over concerns the meeting would not be “transparent,” E&E News reports.

As EPA Administrator, Pruitt has met with industry groups during official meetings more often than environmental and conservation groups. Critics point to the imbalance as a sign of bias.

“Administrator Pruitt asked me to reach out to you and check on your availability to meet for coffee to establish a relationship between EDF and him,” Pruitt’s chief of staff Ryan Jackson wrote in an email to Environmental Defense Fund staff May 18, 2017, according to E&E. Pruitt is “interested in meeting to try to build a relationship and identify common ground and items on which we can work together.”

The Sierra Club obtained the email as part of a batch released under a Freedom of Information Act request. The EDF opposes Pruitt leading the EPA, the first administrator the conservation group has publicly opposed.

“We talked about [meeting Pruitt] and decided not to engage because it wasn’t transparent,” EDF vice president of political affairs Jeremy Symons told E&E. “We didn’t feel it was appropriate that they were only reaching out to us.”

Pruitt’s official schedule is skewed towards meeting with industry groups over environmental groups, but that sort of bias is not new at the EPA. Former Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s official schedule skewed in favor of meetings with Democrats and environmentalists over business and industry. (RELATED: NYT Took Its Time Informing Readers Of Key Info About Obama EPA Chief’s Schedule)

“Ms. McCarthy held a disproportionate number of meetings with Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups, particularly in the summer of 2014, when the administration was making the case for sweeping climate-change regulations,” The New York Times reported on October 3 last year.

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