Markey Joins Call for Pruitt to Address Likely Conflicts of Interest Regarding Clean Power Plan .....you filed actions in both the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (West Virginia v. EPA) and the Northern District of Oklahoma challenging the Clean Power Plan on behalf...
BigNews.Biz - Apr 12,2017 - Markey Joins Call for Pruitt to Address Likely Conflicts of Interest Regarding Clean Power Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Edward J. Markey joined Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led his colleagues in calling for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to address the apparent conflict of interest regarding his participation in EPA’s review of the Clean Power Plan, which Mr. Pruitt formerly challenged in court as Oklahoma’s Attorney General.
Senator Carper, along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) requested information on Mr. Pruitt’s efforts to mitigate the likely conflicts of interest.
The Senators wrote, “Beginning in August 2014, you filed actions in both the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (West Virginia v. EPA) and the Northern District of Oklahoma challenging the Clean Power Plan on behalf of the State of Oklahoma…We all continue to believe that you should have committed to recuse yourself extensively from a number of matters during your confirmation process. Nevertheless, your anticipation of, and preparation for, signing of the Federal Register Notice and filing of the Motion in the DC Circuit should have triggered the more limited recusal policy to which you have already and repeatedly agreed.”
Prior to his confirmation as EPA Administrator, Mr. Pruitt said he would “seek authorization [from the EPA’s Designated Agency Ethics Officer] to participate personally and substantially in particular matters involving specific parties in which [he] know[s] the State of Oklahoma is a party or represents a party.” Last month, Senator Carper led lawmakers in calling on Pruitt to address similar conflicts of interest regarding EPA’s review of the Clean Water Rule, which Mr. Pruitt also sought to overturn as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. Mr. Pruitt has yet to respond to that March 21 request.
Full text of the letter to Administrator Pruitt can be found below and in pdf form here.
April 7, 2017
The Honorable Scott Pruitt
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Pruitt:
Prior to your confirmation as Administrator, you committed to avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest. We write to request information on the actions you have taken to address likely conflicts created by your role in representing the State of Oklahoma in litigation challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. On the same day that President Trump issued his March 28, 2017 Executive Order on Energy Independence you took two significant actions with respect the Clean Power Plan. You signed a Federal Register “Notice of Review of the Clean Power Plan.” You also filed a Motion to Hold Cases in Abeyance in State of West Virginia, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al. (Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, USCA Case #15-1363), the very case in which you represented the State of Oklahoma. Two days later, on March 30,