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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Skulldugggery  (Read 4330 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Fossil Fuel Skulldugggery
« Reply #150 on: April 03, 2018, 07:13:57 pm »
 
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Pruitt’s Not-So-Prudent Pad 💵 🎩 Poses Problems

We’ll be frank: Scott Pruitt 😈 has tired us out this week. From his pricey tastes in travel to his (suspiciously) budget preferences for DC housing, we’ve been treated to some invaluable insights into how Pruitt is taking advantage of his time and position in Washington. Let’s recap what we’ve learned since just last week (!) on Pruitt’s curious choices for crash pads.

First, ABC News reported last week that Pruitt stayed in a Capitol Hill condo co-owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist for his first six months in DC. After initially refusing to disclose how much Pruitt was paying for the pad, the EPA reported that Pruitt paid $50 per night, but only on nights he stayed at the condo.

It then emerged in a second ABC story that Pruitt’s daughter also stayed at the condo, despite statements from the EPA that Pruitt paid for a single bedroom. Vicki Hart, wife of energy lobbyist J. Steven Hart and co-owner of the condo, was also apparently unaware of the situation. “The rental agreement was with Scott Pruitt,” she told ABC. “If other people were using the bedroom or the living quarters, I was never told, and I never gave him permission to do that.”

In our favorite turn events, ABC released a third story over the weekend. Apparently Pruitt’s security detail broke down the condo’s front door after they weren’t able to reach him by phone. Turns out, Pruitt....was napping (super relatable). The EPA then refunded the condo owners for the cost of the false rescue attempt--which, by the way, was still less expensive than Ryan Zinke’s door.

A key takeaway from this scandal (that we’d love to try applying to our next round of apartment-hunting): apparently, if your landlord is an energy lobbyist, you can get a great deal on your rent. According to an analysis from the Center for American Progress, Pruitt’s $50 per night fee is less than one-fourth of the going rate for similar digs, and other apartments in the building have gone for as much as $5000 per month.

And it’s not like he was living in a boring neighborhood--Pruitt’s address is the hip place to be if you’re a GOP booster. The Daily Beast reported Monday that the downstairs of Pruitt’s townhouse served as a popular hotspot for lawmakers, hosting fundraisers for at least three members of Congress while Pruitt was crashing upstairs. While the EPA says Pruitt did not attend any of these events in an official capacity, and ethics laws don’t prohibit him from attending fundraisers in his spare time, we can only imagine the chummy cocktail chatter we may have had with the parties downstairs.

An ethics official at the EPA issued a memo a day after the initial ABC report clearing Pruitt of any wrongdoing with regards to federal ethics rules. Unfortunately for the agency, they may want to take another edit at this memo after the New York Times reported yesterday that in March, the EPA signed off on a pipeline project lobbied for by the husband of Pruitt’s landlord. (Also on J. Steven Hart’s company’s docket: lobbying on behalf of Oklahoma Gas to repeal the Clean Power Plan.)

Environmental groups were quick to call foul on Pruitt’s living situation last week, and they weren’t the only ones. More than 15 members of Congress (Grijalva, Lee, Sarbanes, Lieu, Brown, Quigley, Adams, Blumenauer, Price, Coleman, Schakowsky, Kennedy, Rush, Castor, Lowenthal and Beyer, in case you were wondering) have called for Pruitt to resign via Twitter. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also weighed in during ABC’s This Week, saying “I don’t know how you survive this one.” Christie, who probably qualifies as an expert on scandal at this point, added that Pruitt “never should’ve been there in the first place,” referring to his post as EPA administrator. 

An administration official reportedly told POLITICO last week that the White House “stands behind” Pruitt, but recent history has shown how quickly their tune can change--especially if the boss is upset. If these ethical concerns continue, the administration may have no choice but to show Pruitt the (rebuilt) door.
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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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