by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in The Daily Sentinel
The front-page headline screamed in 40-point type: “EPA chief Pruitt met with many corporate execs. Then he made decisions in their favor.” A rare two-sentence headline!
The Washington Post has broken the ultimate scandal, perhaps eclipsing even its own now-legendary 1973 Watergate coverage. Channeling Watergate’s famous duo of Woodward and Bernstein, this new scandal was also exposed by an investigative team. As the story unfolded, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt “has met regularly with corporate executives… in several instances shortly before making decisions favorable to those interest groups, according to a copy of his schedule obtained by the Washington Post.”…
In 2012 and 2014, independent reports from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, based on documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, alleged numerous examples of “improper collusion between environmental pressure groups and the EPA.” Specifically, it accused those groups of helping “steer EPA regulations and permitting decisions, and providing advocacy materials for use by former colleagues now inside the EPA.”