Whitehouse Statement on Court-Ordered Release of Pruitt Emails
‘Seeing industry representatives fawning over Pruitt’s efforts to attack the EPA, it’s clear that this information should have been closely examined by the Senate’
Washington, DC – The office of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has released over 7,500 emails between that office and representatives of industries Pruitt is now charged with regulating as Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The release comes after an Oklahoma court ruled Pruitt’s office had unlawfully withheld them prior to his Senate confirmation. The emails were requested by the Center for Media and Democracy through an Oklahoma state open records law in 2015.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, repeatedly requested that Pruitt disclose such communications during Pruitt’s Senate confirmation. Rather than release them, Pruitt referred Whitehouse and other colleagues to his office’s Oklahoma Open Records Act process—the same process that forced the Center for Media and Democracy to wait over two years to receive a response. Whitehouse released the following statement today on the newly released emails:
“These emails, which Scott Pruitt wanted to keep from public view, show an elected official cultivating a cozy relationship with regulated industries as he helped them through his official work. Seeing industry representatives fawning over Pruitt’s efforts to attack the EPA, it’s clear that this information should have been closely examined by the Senate as we considered his nomination to run that agency. But even after Republicans rammed his confirmation through and a court ordered the materials released, we still don’t have the full picture. The Center for Media and Democracy and others are waiting on troves of documents related to Scott Pruitt’s work on behalf of the polluters he now regulates. The American people must know the full extent of that relationship.”
Additional documents related to the Center for Media and Democracy’s request and others are still outstanding. Oklahoma District Court Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons has ordered the delivery of records relating to five Center for Media and Democracy requests by February 27.
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