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Lawmakers Demand Probe for EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, Who Has 4 Private Email Addresses

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, @JudyChu06634420/Twitter)

Scott Pruitt is losing his footing in the administration with yet another scandal.

Senate Democrats revealed that Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has used four private email accounts since he took office.

The agency lawyers are concerned that Pruitt evaded federal records demands for releasing documents to the public and violated the Freedom of Information Act requests.


Democratic Senators from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Tom Carper (Del.) wrote a letter on Thursday asking for agency inspectors to investigate.



The Washington Post gained access to the letter expressing their concern over Pruitt's cagey email accounts.

We write to share our deep concern over Administrator Pruitt's reported use of multiple email accounts. It is imperative that there be an investigation into whether the agency has properly searched these email addresses for responsive documents in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

In addition to the administrator's conventional email address, pruitt.scott@epa.gov, Pruitt has two additional ones he claims are used for scheduling: esp7@epa.gov, adm14pruitt@epa.gov. A fourth address, sooners7@epa.gov, is a reference to his favorite football team from the University of Oklahoma.



An anonymous EPA staffer told the Post that if there was one email address that managed to slip under the radar from searches requested by the FOIA, then that "would be an enormous breach of the public trust."

Public records requests increased since Pruitt was appointed by Donald Trump to head the agency. In 2017, the EPA received 11,493 requests filed by the FOIA in 2017, surpassing the previous year's total by 995 requests.



He was under scrutiny for using private email addresses at his former job as Oklahoma attorney general, but at his confirmation hearing last year, he told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

I use only my official OAG [office of the attorney general] email address and government-issued phone to conduct official business.

But the Post reported that some of Pruitt's official emails were copied into his private emails including,"American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-backed group that focuses on state legislatures; the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, which has substantial interests in EPA issues; and members of Pruitt's staff."





Pruitt and the agency have been plagued with controversy over ethical issues. In addition to his agenda of dismantling environmental regulations, Pruitt rented a fancy condo at $50 a night from the wife of an energy lobbyist.

High-ranking officials at the agency, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, disclosed that Pruitt spent an exorbitant amount of money on lavish furniture, flew first-class via specific airlines to accrue frequent flier miles, requested a bullet-proof vest and an expanded 20-person security detail.

Twitter expressed it's time for the EPA chief to be shown the door.



Donald Trump may have hired Pruitt based on these qualifications.


The president seems to think Pruitt is doing a fine job.




H/T - Vox, HuffingtonPost, WashingtonPost, Twitter