Scott Pruitt critics 'nitpick' EPA administrator, GOP senator says

  • Scott Pruitt critics 'nitpick' EPA administrator, GOP senator says

Scott Pruitt critics 'nitpick' EPA administrator, GOP senator says

But while Pruitt has been ineffective at the kinds of regulatory rollbacks that could save industry money - and effective at undercutting the kind of work the EPA does to hold polluters accountable for environmental damages - he has been extremely effective at spending taxpayer money for his own needs.

"If a violation is found, the OGE expects that appropriate action will be taken in response", Apol said in his letter to the EPA.

David Apol, acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, wrote a letter Friday to Kevin Minoli, the EPA's ethics watchdog, warning him of possible ethics violations by Pruitt.

On Meet the Press on Sunday, Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) argued that Pruitt should keep his job because he has been effective in implementing the Trump administration's far-reaching deregulatory agenda.

And while Pruitt's personal security spending has spiked compared to predecessors, Trump noted his EPA administrator has "received death threats because of his bold actions". Pruitt told Fox News he moved out of the condo last summer.

She too called for congressional oversight but declined to offer an opinion on whether Pruitt should resign or be fired.

Recent reporting revealed that Pruitt also has a sweetheart deal to rent a condo in Washington, D.C., for next to nothing from an energy lobbyist.

The letter also cites two requested queries from the Secret Service in February, asking for potential threats against Pruitt which did not turn up "reports of behaviors of interest directed toward EPA Administrator Pruitt". A decision on whether to launch a new investigation into that issue is expected in coming days.

"Administrator Pruitt had zero knowledge of the amount of the raises, nor the process by which they transpired".

Democrats will likely use floor time slated to debate Wheeler's nomination to bash both him and Pruitt. Pruitt denied knowing about the raises in a media interview last week, even though the statutory authority under which the raises were granted requires his approval. One of them fought buying Pruitt a $100,000-per-month charter aircraft membership, spending $70,000 to replace two office desks and wasting $43,000 on a soundproof booth in the administrator's office.

But details about any threats to Pruitt are sparse.

The president has so far backed Pruitt, a former Oklahoma state attorney general who has assertively delayed or rewritten Obama-era EPA regulations, which has drawn the ire of environmental activists.

EPA Intelligence has "not seen any analysis to indicate why the Administrator would be at any greater risk on a commercial airline than any other passenger, or why a trained EPA (Private Security Detail) member could not protect the Administrator in a different location on the aircraft [than in the business or first-class section]", the memo adds.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the only Republican to vote against Pruitt's confirmation, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the "daily drip" of ethical allegations against Pruitt distracts from the agency's mission and called for Congress to investigate.