Republican senator says EPA chief must slow refinery waivers or resign

Classen Rafael—Getty Images  EyeEm

Classen Rafael—Getty Images EyeEm

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt demanded and received unprecedented, around-the-clock armed security protection on his very first day at the agency.

Most of the committee's six Democratic members have vehemently opposed Pruitt's efforts to roll back climate and pollution regulations introduced under Democratic former President Barack Obama, and have seized on the controversies around Pruitt's conduct to call for his resignation. Ranking member Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is the measure's lead sponsor.

The request for the email investigation came from Democratic Sens.

For his part, Pruitt took the same approach as he did in a pair of contentious House hearings last month, largely steering clear in his opening statement of addressing the dozen probes he is facing on topics such as the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office, a cut-rate condo rental from a lobbyist a year ago and his domestic and worldwide travel expenses. "I'm reading about your interactions with representatives of the industries that you regulate" Murkowski told Pruitt at a hearing normally expected to focus on budget matters.

Udall is citing an email written by EPA's security chief saying Pruitt "encourages the use" of emergency lights.

"Unfortunately, I am concerned that numerous important policy efforts you are engaged in are being overshadowed", she said.

A letter from the agency's inspector general also contradicted Pruitt and the EPA's claim that the need for a 24/7 security detail was a response to an assessment of death threats against him.


Udall kicked off his first line of questioning by asking Pruitt something unrelated to him and EPA: Does he support special counsel Robert Mueller completing his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election?

Pruitt has also faced growing pressure from some Republican senators who are not on the panel over his handling of US biofuels policy.

The White House referred questions about the issue to the Department of Health and Human Services, Politico said, which confirmed that the study has no scheduled release date.

Senator Chuck Grassley, for example, said on Tuesday he would join lawmakers calling for Pruitt's ouster unless the EPA chief curbs the agency's use of waivers exempting refineries from their obligation to mix ethanol into fuel.

Perrotta, who has been under scrutiny for the expenditures related to Pruitt's security and travel, retired from the agency late last month.

"You have taken a common-sense approach to the environmental regulatory process", Hyde-Smith said. In the tweet, the agency appeared to mock Democrats after the long-awaited confirmation of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as Pruitt's top deputy. Marked "For Official Use Only", the internal summary was then improperly made public, Elkins said.

Lawmakers called for a probe and the release of a controversial study on Monday after emails revealed that Trump administration officials attempted to block a public health study from being published over worries it would cause a "public relations nightmare" and reflect poorly on both the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Recommended News

  • JR Smith: 'I Don't Want the Opposing Fans to Like Me'

    JR Smith: 'I Don't Want the Opposing Fans to Like Me'

    Doing that to someone can cause serious injury and would likely spark a fight on nearly any basketball court in the country. Smith missed all seven of his shots and didn't score a point in 27 minutes of Tuesday's Game 2 loss to the Celtics .
    Storm in northeast US kills two, causes power outages

    Storm in northeast US kills two, causes power outages

    It was estimated that 108,000 homes were without power on Tuesday night, the Hartford Courant daily reported. Most winds were 60-70 miles per hour while a few reached over 70, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
    Microsoft plans to take on iPad with low-priced  Surface tablets

    Microsoft plans to take on iPad with low-priced Surface tablets

    The existing Surface Pro tablets use Intel processors with SSD storage, similar to the CPU chips seen in the 12-inch MacBook. Microsoft is reportedly working a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro.
  • Google under investigation in Australia for allegedly collecting data of Android users

    Google under investigation in Australia for allegedly collecting data of Android users

    That's why in Android P , the Pixel 2 phones might get a new color mode, one that will decide what's best on the user's behalf. Before the update, let's say you are about to start a video and you know it may be loud.
    Stephen Piscotty hits home run in first at-bat since mother's funeral

    Stephen Piscotty hits home run in first at-bat since mother's funeral

    As he trotted toward home plate, Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty tapped his chest and looked up at the sky. Louis Cardinals to the A's in December, enabling him to care for his mother at their Pleasanton, California, home.
    GOP governor candidates try to reach undecided voters

    GOP governor candidates try to reach undecided voters

    But back in 2014, I put everything I had into what many said was a insane , "un-winnable" write-in campaign for the state senate. Wolf, 69, has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Mohoric wins day as Chaves fades

    Mohoric wins day as Chaves fades

    Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) retained his third place but now trails the race leader by one minute and four seconds. Mohoric thanked his team, which is centered around Domenico Pozzovivo in fourth overall, for letting him go for the victory.
    Details of the new Premier League transfer window which opens this week…

    Details of the new Premier League transfer window which opens this week…

    But the Premier League's decision to bring forward the close date this year means the start date can also be moved. Clubs involved in play-offs can sign players now - but cannot play them until their season is over.
    Ramaphosa and the ANC mourn the passing of photographer Sam Nzima

    Ramaphosa and the ANC mourn the passing of photographer Sam Nzima

    Nzima said that for many years he regretted taking the photo because it destroyed his career in journalism. Nzima was put under house arrest after his Pieterson image was published around the world .
  • IL  basketball to host Georgetown

    IL basketball to host Georgetown

    As part of the series, Ohio State and the other teams in the Big Ten will participate at least four times in an eight-year period. The Gavitt Tipoff Games schedule begins on Tuesday, Nov. 13 , with Georgetown playing at IL and Wisconsin traveling to Xavier.
    Apps on Google Play

    Apps on Google Play

    Google said last week that it plans to offer over 1,0000 magazine titles you can follow by tapping a star icon or subscribing to. You can sort by the latest stories, as well as topics such as business, technology, sports, science, entertainment, and health.
    IShares MSCI China Small-Cap ETF (ECNS) Declines 0.18% for May 15

    IShares MSCI China Small-Cap ETF (ECNS) Declines 0.18% for May 15

    The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of stock price movements. The Williams %R fluctuates between 0 and -100 measuring whether a security is overbought or oversold.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.