Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn. - Grist


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REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the top-ranking Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, publicly chided the EPA administrator Wednesday after his agency responded to an information request with old press releases.

In April, Carper and 22 other Democratic senators sent Pruitt a letter asking for details on how the agency plans to protect public health and cut emissions while simultaneously halting the Clean Power Plan. (A late-March executive order called for a review of climate regulations, including the keystone Obama-era rule designed to limit power plant pollution.)

The response from Pruitt’s office was, well, smug. Instead of the schedules, timelines, and meeting plans that senators requested, Pruitt literally sent two EPA press releases about Trump’s directive, a letter he’d sent to Nevada’s governor informing him that states could disregard the Clean Power Plan, and a note addressed to Carper spelling out what was in Trump’s order.

Really, what did Carper and co. expect? Pruitt has only a passing acquaintance with transparency. Remember the huge email dump from his time as Oklahoma Attorney General? It came only after he withheld the information for two years and was ruled to have violated the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Dude’s a lock box.