Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt offers used 4 government email accounts since assuming office, and 2 Democratic senators are worried the complicated setup may have allowed the owner to dodge demands for public record information.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore. ) and Tom Carper (D-Del. ), both members of a Senate panel with EPA oversight, sent the letter this week to the EPA inspector general asking for an investigation into Pruitt’ s use of multiple emails. Apart from his standard Pruitt. Scott@epa. gov account, two others were utilized for scheduling and what the lawmakers contact “ communicating. ” The Wa Post notes that a fourth current email address, sooners7@epa. gov, is an apparent mention of the the University of Oklahoma soccer team, of which Pruitt is a lover.
“ We write to share our own deep concern over Administrator Pruitt’ s reported use of multiple e-mail accounts, ” the letter , dated Apr 10, reads. “ It is essential that there be an investigation into whether or not the agency has properly searched these types of email addresses for responsive documents according to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands. ”
The lawmakers, both people of the Senate Environment and Open public Works Committee, note that the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY has received “ thousands” associated with public records requests since Pruitt overtook the agency. Journalists and advocacy groups have turned to laws letting them request documents that may reveal Pruitt’ s deceptive agenda of taking out environmental protections and favoring business interests. The disclosures have resulted in substantial news stories, including the public release associated with Pruitt’ s schedule and details about a $43, 000 soundproof cell phone booth installed in the office.
But Merkley and Carper said they worried the “ secret email accounts” may be used to hold back “ information from the public within violation of valid FOIA demand. ”
An EPA spokesman verified the existence of the email accounts to the Blog post. The agency has complied using requests, the spokesman said, so when a FOIA request is obtained, “ all accounts are looked before we respond. ”
Pruitt and the EPA have been battling a stream of honest issues , including his partner rental of a condo co-owned from the wife of an energy lobbyist. Pruitt insisted on staying in costly hotels and flying on specific airlines in order to accrue frequent flier miles, according to congressional investigators.
Leader Donald Trump has stood by EPA chief, tweeting earlier immediately that Pruitt “ is doing an excellent job! ”