WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding reports that, during the first three months of his tenure, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt spent nearly half his time in his home state of Oklahoma.
Information about Pruitt’s travel and schedule was obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by non-governmental groups, but the same information has yet to be provided to the EPW committee, which is charged with oversight of the agency, despite requests from Senator Carper and other Senators beginning in March 2017.
“I have repeatedly asked Administrator Pruitt to commit to transparency at the EPA, especially after it became clear that he failed to disclose important information to members of this committee during his confirmation process. But, like the vast majority of reasonable requests that have been sent to Mr. Pruitt, it has been ignored for months.
“As a result, we are forced to rely on information that others have obtained through FOIA requests to learn that in just his first three months on the job, Mr. Pruitt spent over six weeks traveling to and from Oklahoma. Mr. Pruitt has spent more days in Oklahoma at this point than President Trump has spent at his golf courses, which is no minor feat.
“This is information to which that the committee charged with overseeing the EPA must have access. And it’s revelations like this that reaffirm the need for increased transparency at the EPA and for complete answers to our long overdue requests.
“I’ll also remind Mr. Pruitt, as the leader of a federal agency and a man who may have higher political aspirations, that government officials have a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. There are countless issues that the EPA and its leadership should be prioritizing. From dealing with contaminants in our drinking water to increased ‘bad air’ days in the hot summer months, Administrator Pruitt should be focused on doing the job he was hired to do and addressing the issues that affect millions of Americans every day.”