Scott Pruitt makes first speech as EPA director

Posted February 23, 2017

"In one e-mail, Devon Energy helped draft language that was later sent by Pruitt to the EPA about the limiting of methane from oil and gas fracking".

A liberal watchdog group released thousands of emails Wednesday showing President Donald Trump's EPA chief shared communications with energy groups during his time as Oklahoma's attorney general. Pruitt has a history of coddling extractive companies and opposing federal regulations on air pollution.

Democrats had sought to delay the vote until Pruitt's emails were released.

Ball added that an official from the Competitive Enterprise Institute would talk about costs of federal regional haze regulations, so Pruitt could highlight his opposition to EPA's "sue-and-settle" practices with environmental groups.

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.

A CNN request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned.

"The only authority that any agency has in the executive branch is the authority given to it by Congress", he said. Pruitt finished his speech making strong statements about the environmental efforts of the United States that are already in place.

Scores of EPA scientists, experts and lawyers actively fought Pruitt's nomination, beseeching senators to vote against him and organizing opposition via social media.

Today's email release may be the first of many for Pruitt.

According to the Washington Times, the CMD has been after these emails - some 2,600 of them - for two years.

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"I don't expect we'll have any trouble", he told reporters.

Less than three hours later, Whitsitt replied with proposed additions to the letter from him and his team. Almost 800 former EPA officials also signed a letter opposing Pruitt's nomination.

Many Republican lawmakers view Pruitt as a refreshing change at the top of an agency they blame for federal overreach and for killing jobs in the coal and other industries. Collectively, they could shed light on how closely Pruitt may be willing to work with the industries he's now in charge of regulating. "He never mentioned launching an investigation into the earthquakes", Perera said. The New York Times wrote this morning that the new e-mails show that the Oklahoma attorney general's office corresponded with Devon Energy more frequently than any other energy company. More emails from the Oklahoma Attorney General office are expected to be released on February 27th.

U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins said Pruitt's confirmation is good news for the Mountain State.

The president has repeatedly indicated that he believes the government is bloated and in need of trimming - in addition to rulemaking changes, Pruitt could also opt to reduce enforcement personnel, researcher and other support staff who further the mission of the agency.

Devon serves as a resource with information and expertise for decision makers, and its contact with Pruitt was consistent with its policy of engaging with policymakers, company spokesman John Porretto said.

"We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some very hard issues and do so in a civil manner", Pruitt said.

It's also possible that Pruitt may attempt to downsize the agency.

The Oklahoma Attorney General's office said it has gone beyond the requirements of the Open Records Act.