Scott Pruitt’s Secret Money Ties to Polluters Should be Illegal

If Scott Pruitt wants to spend his professional career as little more than a cabana boy to polluters, that’s his business.

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He wants to be in charge of the US Environmental Protection Agency, whose mission it is to regulate and, where necessary, punish those same polluters. There, Pruitt’s joy in providing total, unbridled servitude to polluters has no place.

The latest evidence of this is the recent revelation that, just before he became EPA chief, Pruitt chaired a shadowy group which called itself the “Rule of Law Defense Fund” (RLDF). Led by Pruitt, RDLF filed lawsuits to challenge environmental regulations that hurt polluter profits.

Where did RDLF get its money? That’s what we don’t know. And–here’s the really disgusting news–neither RDLF nor Pruitt has had to tell us. As currently written, the law allows RDLF to go to court to try to dismantle our country’s most important environmental protections, AND NOT HAVE TO DISCLOSE WHO IS PAYING THEM TO DO IT. Also, in his confirmation hearing before the US Senate, which was considering whether to allow Pruitt to serve as EPA chief, Senators asked Pruitt to disclose where RDLF got its money, so the American people could be alert to the roster of polluters that Pruitt might coddle as EPA chief.

PRUITT REFUSED. But he was confirmed anyway.

Which leaves open the real possibility that, in the future, when Pruitt’s EPA should put the hammer down on a polluter, but doesn’t, we won’t know whether Pruitt is just doing a favor for one of his RDLF patrons.

All of this secrecy should be illegal. And Pruitt’s refusal to disclose the RDLF funders who paid him to try to clear the way for environmental destruction should have disqualified him from running the EPA.

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