Lawmakers Slam EPA’s Scott Pruitt Over Mounting Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was grilled by lawmakers Thursday on Capitol Hill about a slew of scandals over his spending habits and ties to industry lobbyists. Pruitt faces more than a half-dozen investigations. Among the scandals: he paid only $50 a night to live in a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of a prominent Washington energy lobbyist whose firm represents a roster of fossil fuel companies. Pruitt had a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office, which a government watchdog says violated spending laws. Pruitt had the EPA spend $3 million on his security detail, including 18 full-time agents. Pruitt routinely travels first- or business-class; reportedly because Pruitt was confronted by economy-class customers angry over his policies. For more we speak with Emily Atkin, a staff writer at The New Republic. Her latest pieces include: “Scott Pruitt Is Forced to Confront Reality” and “The EPA Is Acting Like Big Tobacco.” We also speak with Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was grilled by lawmakers Thursday on Capitol Hill after a slew of scandals over his spending habits and ties to industry lobbyists. Pruitt faces more than a half-dozen investigations. Among the scandals, he paid only $50 a night to live in a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of a prominent Washington energy lobbyist whose firm represents a roster of fossil fuel companies. Pruitt had a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office, which the Government Accounting Office says was illegal and violated spending laws. Pruitt had the EPA spend $3 million on his security detail, including 18 full-time agents. Pruitt routinely travels first or business class, reportedly because Pruitt was confronted by economy class customers angry over his policies. On…

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