Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pruitt Names Lawyer Who Defended Kochs Industries as a Top EPA Law Enforcer

Popular
EPA head Scott Pruitt

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt may have skipped the G7 climate meeting more than a day early, but he has certainly kept busy staffing his agency.

POLITICO reported that Pruitt has named energy industry attorney Patrick Traylor as a deputy in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.


The office, which the Trump administration reportedly tried to cut, enforces key anti-pollution laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act to protect the environment and vulnerable communities.

Traylor, whose LinkedIn profile indicates he started the job in June, was a longtime partner of the international law firm Hogan Lovells and has represented companies owned by the Koch brothers and other energy industry giants.

Per POLITICO, "clients include utility Southern California Edison; Venture Global LNG, a natural gas exporter; Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary refiner; Koch Nitrogen, maker of synthetic fertilizer; and several wind companies seeking Endangered Species Act permits."

Traylor has also defended Dominion Energy and TransCanada, as New York Times reporter Eric Lipton tweeted. Dominion is behind the highly contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline and TransCanada's is responsible for the Keystone XL.

Clients have turned to Traylor "to support tens of billions of dollars' worth of projects at refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer plants, LNG export terminals, coal- and gas-fired power plants, coal mines, and bulk materials terminals," according to Hogan Lovells' website.

"For almost 20 years, clients have relied on Patrick to conduct some of their most sensitive internal compliance investigations and represent them in Clean Air Act enforcement cases," the site adds.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC is warning that people with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, whole organ transplants, and women who are pregnant could experience more severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images
Read More Show Less

More than 200 Indigenous Nations demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Canon Ball, ND on Sept. 2, 2016. Joe Brusky / Flickr

A federal judge ruled Monday that the controversial Dakota Access pipeline must be shut down and drained of oil until a full environmental review of the project is completed.

Read More Show Less
The Yersinia pestis bacteria causes bubonic plague in animals and humans. Illustration based on light microscope image At 1000x. BSIP / UIG Via Getty Images

A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Plant pathologist Carolee Bull works in her home garden in State College, Pennsylvania. Carolee Bull, CC BY-ND

By Matt Kasson, Brian Lovett and Carolee Bull

Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they're growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers' shelves. Now that gardens are largely planted, much of the work for the next several months revolves around keeping them healthy.

Read More Show Less
Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Emma Charlton

The effects of climate change may more far-reaching than you think.

Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income, according to a new study published on ScienceDirect by researchers from Italy's Ca' Foscari University.

Read More Show Less
Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the "brain-eating amoeba") is a free-living microscopic amoeba (single-celled living organism). Centers for Disease Control

As if the surging cases of coronavirus weren't enough for Floridians to handle, now the state's Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that a person in the Tampa area tested positive for a rare brain-eating amoeba, according to CBS News. The Florida DOH posted a warning to residents to remind them of the dangers of the rare single-celled amoeba that attacks brain tissue.

Read More Show Less

Trending


Scientists are urging the WHO to revisit their coronavirus guidance to focus more on airborne transmission and less on hand sanitizer and hygiene. John Lund / Photodisc / Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding the line on its stance that the respiratory droplets of the coronavirus fall quickly to the floor and are not infectious. Now, a group of 239 scientists is challenging that assertion, arguing that the virus is lingering in the air of indoor environments, infecting people nearby, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less