What to Watch as Scott Pruitt, the EPA Chief, Goes Before Congress

That could change, the source said, if a media onslaught becomes "too heavy a burden".

Why did Mr. Pruitt tell Fox News he had no prior knowledge of raises given to two staffers he brought from Oklahoma when an EPA Inspector General report now shows that Pruitt signed off on them?

Rep. Kathy Castor, a top Democrat on the committee, co-sponsored a resolution calling for Pruitt's resignation that included signatures from 170 congressional Democrats. Worse yet, he got that discount from the wife of a business executive whose clients had interests before the EPA, a lobbyist whom Pruitt subsequently met with. "Those who attack the EPA and attack me are doing so because they want to attack and derail the president's agenda and undermine this administration's priorities".

"But I don't expect that necessarily moves us in the right direction on the environment because the [Deputy] Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler moves right in, a coal lobbyist". He spent over $150,000 - of taxpayer dollars - on first-class travel.

Pruitt is scheduled to testify Thursday about his agency's budget in back-to-back hearings before two House subcommittees.

"You are unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust", Pallone said, though he noted that did not mean he disliked him.

"The fireworks will be going strong", Sen.

Did one of Pruitt's staffers spend weekshelping Pruitt search for an apartment, contacting agents and touring properties? Still, Inhofe notably is leaving the door open for withdrawing his support.

"I think your actions are an embarrassment to President Trump", Pallone later added.

Pruitt went on to tell lawmakers that responsibility for what happens at the EPA "rests with me and no one else".

Republicans on the committee largely stood by Pruitt as what is needed to roll back Obama-era "radical" policies on clean air, water and environmental protections.

When asked about Pruitt opting out of a briefing by aides familiar with the committee's concerns, Cole said it was Pruitt's judgment to make.

"I would like to know how you can have confidence in somebody like this in being the EPA Administrator", Rep. Joni Ernst, R-IA; Debbie Stabenow, R-MI; Deb Fischer, R-NE; Dick Durbin, D-IL; John Thune, R-SD; Roy Blunt, R-MO; Claire McCaskill, D-MO; Tammy Duckworth, D-IL; Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND; and Joe Donnelly, D-IN.

But several Republicans expressed support for Pruitt at the hearings, praising his EPA accomplishments.

Also in opposition are almost a thousand scientists, who sent Pruitt a letter this week saying the policy is an attempt to "weaponize "transparency" to facilitate political interference in science-based decisionmaking" and will result in "policies and practices that will ignore significant risks to the health of every American".

"You've not demonstrated the requisite degree of good judgment required of an appointed executive branch official on some of these spending items", he said.

In all, we now count at least 86 questions that need answering, with more seeming to emerge every day.

Barrasso has requested the EPA hand over documents pertaining to Pruitt's expenses and his use of four email addresses.

"The things we really care about are not the phone booth or the first-class travel to NY or Boston, it's the dismantling of the environmental regulatory system put in place by Democrats and Republicans over the last 46 years", Beyer told E&E in a recent interview.

But the ongoing drip of controversy surrounding the administrator has weighed on Republicans and a president who promised to "drain the swamp".

The senators said early reports indicate that the small refinery waivers Pruitt granted could effectively cut biofuel demand by 1.5 billion gallons, thus effectively lowering President Trump's commitment to seeing 15 billion gallons of ethanol blended to 13.5 billion.

  • Leroy Wright