Gage Skidmore / Flickr pruitt...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Environmental Protection Agency-hating EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been meeting regularly behind closed doors with executives of the fossil fuel, mining, and automobile industries. Soon afterwards, he makes decisions favorable to those corporate interests, according to an analysis of his April-September schedule by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin at The Washington Post. 

For instance, in the second week of May:

…he met at EPA headquarters with Fitzgerald Truck Sales, the nation’s largest manufacturer of commercial truck “gliders,” which are truck bodies without an engine or transmission.

On Aug. 17, a little more than two months after meeting with Fitzgerald, Pruitt announced that he would revisit an October 2016 decision to apply greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks to gliders and trailers,  saying he was making the decision following “the significant issues” raised by those in the industry.

Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said that the manufacturers of gliders have been using their products’ lack of engines to evade stricter air pollution standards, which is why EPA issued its 2016 rule in the first place. “It is a classic special-interest loophole- one that would mean dirtier air and public health damage,” he said.

And that’s just one of many examples.

Liz Bowman, spokeswoman for the EPA, claims that all Pruitt is doing is reversing the previous administration’s “regulatory overreach” by gathering the points of view of corporate leaders whom Obama appointees ignored in establishing rules on fuel efficiency, polluting emissions, coal ash, etc.

In fact, those corporate views weren’t ignored. The Obama administration simply disagreed with them. The idea that Pruitt is eager only to inject balance among competing interests is belied by the fact that during the four-month period covered in the schedule he met with two environmental advocacy groups and one public health group. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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