Pruitt Emails Show Ties With Fossil Fuel Players

His only reference of the "toxic environment" was related to politics, and how it damaged compromise.

In a recent interview, Pruitt explained his philosophy of protecting the environment while simultaneously protecting property rights: "I reject this paradigm that says we can't be both pro-environment and pro-energy". "We deal with very important, monumental issues with respect to our future", he said.

Pruitt also addressed his views about regulation: "Regulations ought to make things regular".

One 2013 note from Matt Ball, an executive at the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, to Pruitt and an Oklahoma congressman read in part: "Thank you to your respective bosses and all they are doing to push back against President [Barack] Obama's EPA and its axis with liberal environmental groups to increase energy costs for Oklahomans and American families across the states. That's really the job of the regulator, and the process we engage in".

Pruitt later opposed the Obama administration's Renewable Fuel Standard and ozone limits.

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Asked by conservative columnist Kimberley Strassel whether the EPA will seek to regulate carbon dioxide, which scientists broadly agree is the key source of climate change, Pruitt said he wasn't sure the agency has the authority to do so.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, said: "We congratulate Mr. Pruitt on his confirmation as administrator of the EPA. If we need to look at other dates later on we can do that as well".

Instead, the e-mails show that oil and gas companies like Devon Energy, lobbying groups like American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and law firms representing oil and gas interests wrote letters and talking points for Pruitt to use on behalf of the Oklahoma attorney general's office.

"I think that this letter will make a strong statement and a real difference", wrote Brent Rockwood, Devon public policy director, in an email to Deputy Solicitor General Clayton Eubanks. "I believe that we as an agency and we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment".

"There will be a rule-making process to withdraw those rules, and that will kick off a process", Pruitt told the Wall Street Journal.

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"There's a very simple reason why this needs to happen: because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules", Pruitt said. Challenges to both rules are now working their way through the court system, but Pruitt made clear that he does not intend to wait for the courts to decide before initiating the rule-making process necessary to withdraw both rules.

Two months earlier, in a blow to Pruitt, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA acted reasonably when it disapproved a state haze plan on the grounds that it did not do enough to cut sulfur dioxide emissions. Pruitt refused to state in his oral or written testimony what steps EPA will take to rescind or revise the Clean Power Plan on the grounds that he does not want to pre-judge the issue.

The Sierra Club's Brune adds that the group and its "2.7 million members and supporters will continue to mobilize and resist this corrupt administration's attacks on public health, clean air and clean water every step of the way". Pruitt sued the EPA over a dozen times during the Obama presidency and offered insight on how to avoid legal action from people like himself. The group said it received 7,564 pages of emails.

More emails are coming next week, as Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons ordered the Oklahoma AG's office to turn over an undetermined number of documents responsive to CMD's five additional open records requests outstanding between November 2015 and August 2016 by Monday.

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