Quantcast

Pruitt Has Met Only 5 Times With Environmental Groups

Energy
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Gage Skidmore / Flickr. Background photo: A coal mining operation in Arizona. Lyntha Scott Eiler / Documerica

As Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt tries to systematically dismantle regulations that protect the environment, is it any surprise that he has hardly ever met with any groups that would oppose those actions?

Both CNN and the New York Times have tracked the EPA boss' dismal meeting record with environmental and scientific organizations since taking the position. Rather, his calendar has been filled with meetings with fossil fuel industry representatives.


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. He's held more than 100 meetings with industry representatives, about 25% of meetings overall, according to a recently public copy of his schedule from April to early September. In comparison, he's held five meetings with environmentalist or science groups, which is less than 1%.

Breaking down Pruitt's meetings with each sector, energy groups are at the top of the list. He's met with representatives of oil, gas, electric, biofuel and other such companies almost 35 times. The next most penciled-in groups is farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists. A large part of the EPA's job is regulating chemicals and fertilizers.

An EPA spokesperson defended Pruitt's meetings.

"As E.P.A. has been the poster child for regulatory overreach, the agency is now meeting with those ignored by the Obama administration," the agency spokesperson wrote via email to the Times.

Former President Obama's EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy met regularly with environmentalists but also made time for industry representatives, the Times reported.

Pruitt has long been criticized for his close ties to the fossil fuel industry. The former Oklahoma Attorney General has made a career of waging numerous legal wars against the EPA and President Obama's environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan.

His frequent travels back to his home state have also been scrutinized.

"These travel records show that administrator Pruitt is more focused on cultivating his relationships with industry and conservative political organizations in his home state of Oklahoma 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) and former Director of Civil Enforcement at EPA.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said earlier this month that Pruitt's taxpayer-funded travel through Sept. 30 is under investigation.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A vegan diet can improve your health, but experts say it's important to keep track of nutrients and protein. Getty Images

By Dan Gray

  • Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
  • A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
  • It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.

New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.

Read More Show Less
Students gathered at the National Mall in Washington DC, Sept. 20. NRDC

By Jeff Turrentine

Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
samael334 / iStock / Getty Images

By Ruairi Robertson, PhD

Berries are small, soft, round fruit of various colors — mainly blue, red, or purple.

Read More Show Less
A glacier is seen in the Kenai Mountains on Sept. 6, near Primrose, Alaska. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have been studying the glaciers in the area since 1966 and their studies show that the warming climate has resulted in sustained glacial mass loss as melting outpaced the accumulation of new snow and ice. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Mark Mancini

On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.

Read More Show Less
Members of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America table at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18. Alex Schwartz

By Alex Schwartz

Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
StephanieFrey / iStock / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Muffins are a popular, sweet treat.

Read More Show Less
Hackney primary school students went to the Town Hall on May 24 in London after school to protest about the climate emergency. Jenny Matthews / In Pictures / Getty Images

By Caroline Hickman

Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?

Read More Show Less
Myrtle warbler. Gillfoto / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Bird watching in the U.S. may be a lot harder than it once was, since bird populations are dropping off in droves, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less