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Thu Dec 29, 2016, 01:22 AM

Senators ask Trump EPA chief pick to disclose energy industry ties

Source: Reuters

POLITICS | Wed Dec 28, 2016 | 5:31pm EST

Senators ask Trump EPA chief pick to disclose energy industry ties

By Valerie Volcovici | WASHINGTON

Democrats on the U.S. Senate's environment panel on Wednesday asked President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency to disclose his ties to the energy industry ahead of his confirmation hearing early next year.

The six senators sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma Attorney General led several lawsuits against the Obama administration's EPA to block its environmental rules. They asked him to list his connections to energy companies, to weigh whether these will influence his ability to run the agency.

"What that conduct says about your ability to lead EPA in a manner that is not beholden to special or secret interests is a subject that we expect will receive a full airing during your confirmation hearing," the senators wrote in the letter.

The senators raised concerns about a 2014 New York Times report, which found that Pruitt's policy positions as Oklahoma's top attorney reflected his close ties to Devon Energy Corp.

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The senators also noted Pruitt's involvement with the Rule of Law Defense Fund, which they said supports initiatives by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who have opposed the EPA's climate change regulations.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-epa-idUSKBN14H1MA

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