Sen. Tom Carper, led his colleagues March 22 in calling for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to address the apparent conflict of interest regarding his participation in EPA’s review of the Clean Water Rule, a rule Pruitt sued to overturn as Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Carper, along with Sens. Bernard Sanders, I-Vermont; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; and Edward J. Markey, D-Massachusetts, sought information on Pruitt’s efforts to mitigate this conflict of interest in light of his prior agreement to seek guidance from EPA ethics officials on any perceived or apparent conflicts.
The senators wrote, “Prior to your confirmation as administrator, you committed, both to EPA’s Designated Ethics Official and to members of the Environment and Public Works Committee, to avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest. We are seeking information on the actions you have taken to address the conflict created by i) your role in representing the state of Oklahoma in litigation challenging the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, and ii) the direction issued to you in the Feb. 28 executive order on ‘The Waters of the United States,’ which, among other instructions, includes in section 2(c) explicit direction concerning that very litigation.”
Prior to his confirmation as EPA administrator, Pruitt said he would “seek authorization — from the DAEO — to participate personally and substantially in particular matters involving specific parties in which he knows the state of Oklahoma is a party or represents a party.”
Full text of the letter can be found at bit.ly/2mURmDb.