EPA head Scott Pruitt subject of growing demands for removal over open corruption
7 April 2018
Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has faced escalating calls for his ouster in recent weeks as new details emerge regarding his abuse of his position for personal gain. Pruitt, who is said to still enjoy the support of President Trump, has worked consistently to block any new regulations on the energy and manufacturing industries and to roll back any previous regulations that may impose on their ability to profit off the destruction of the environment.
The latest allegations against Pruitt involve his rental of a Washington, D.C. condo from health care lobbyist Vicki Hart, wife of J. Steven Hart, whose law firm, Williams and Jensen, lobbies on behalf of the energy industry.
Pruitt paid $50 a night for the rental, far below market rates, and paid only for the nights that he stayed at the condo, an unusual and, from the landlord’s perspective, unprofitable arrangement. In March of 2017, the EPA approved the expansion of a pipeline project from Enbridge Inc., a Canadian energy company and client of Williams and Jensen. The approval was granted although Enbridge had previously been fined $61 million in connection to a pipeline rupture in Michigan in 2010.
This follows revelations earlier this year that since his confirmation Pruitt had spent nearly $100,000 in government funds on travel expenses, including first-class airfare and stays at various luxury hotels. Pruitt has also insisted on bringing an extended entourage of EPA officials and a large security detail along with him on his many trips, further swelling the costs. Pruitt’s travel expenses are now being investigated by the EPA’s inspector general.
On Thursday the…