Agri Groups Welcome Pruitt as New EPA Administrator

"Pruitt knows that I believe it is important that the EPA is working with states like West Virginia not against us".

One 2013 note from Matt Ball, an executive at the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, to Pruitt and an Oklahoma congressman read in part: "Thank you to your respective bosses and all they are doing to push back against President [Barack] Obama's EPA and its axis with liberal environmental groups to increase energy costs for Oklahomans and American families across the states".

He said: "Regulations exist to bring certainty to those that they regulate".

The 7,564 pages of emails follow a knock-down battle in Congress over whether Pruitt should lead Trump's EPA.

"We as an agency and we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs and we can be pro-environment, and we don't have to choose between the two", Pruitt said.

Trump is readying multiple executive orders to roll back several key EPA regulations including the central Obama-era policy addressing climate change, according to reports in several outlets. Pruitt's official Oklahoma attorney general website describes him as "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda".

Last week, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) welcomed Scott Pruitt's confirmation as administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The emails do show industry and political interest groups enjoyed a close, comfortable and collaborative relationship with Pruitt's attorney general's office. "This broad disclosure should provide affirmation that, despite politically motivated allegations, the Office of Attorney General remains fully committed to the letter and spirit of the Open Records Act".

However, Democrats, environmental advocates and numerous EPA's current and former staff worry that President Donald Trump's appointment of Mr Pruitt signals a reversal in the US' progress towards cleaner air and water and fighting global climate change.

Democrats had also sought to delay his nomination over questions about his ties to the oil industry in Oklahoma.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is presented with a baseball hat by Acting Administrator Cathrine McCabe at the agency's headquarters February 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

He declared that the EPA can be "pro-energy, pro-jobs and pro-environment".

The emails also show that American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, an oil and gas lobby group, provided Pruitt's office with template language to oppose ozone limits and the renewable fuel standard program in 2013.

Finally, Pruitt said, "Federalism matters".

In addition to Devon Energy, another notable correspondent was Stuart Solomon, president of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.

Environmental campaign groups called him a "fossil fuel industry puppet" and "an enthusiastic shill for the fracking industry".

Some of the e-mails illustrate Pruitt's administration's contact with the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a self-described think tank conducting research and analysis of public issues in the state "from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty and a free-market economy".

  • Zachary Reyes