Thursday, 15 November, 2018

EPA chief Scott Pruitt to face extra questions from Congress

Former EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford after a farewell news conference Pruitt asked for 24/7 security immediately, despite claims
Kenny Thornton | 16 May, 2018, 22:05

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, for example, said on Tuesday he would join the chorus of lawmakers calling for Pruitt's ouster unless the EPA chief rolls back the agency's use of waivers exempting refineries from their obligation to mix ethanol into fuel. A letter from the agency's inspector general Monday contradicted Pruitt's claim that his around-the-clock protection was a response to an assessment of death threats against him, and instead began at his own request and on his first day at the job.

The inspector general's office "played no role in this decision", Elkins added.

The EPA has said that the first-class flights were necessary, because of security threats against Pruitt.

Pruitt is underneath a number of investigations into the price of his safety element, journey, pay raises for aides, alleged retaliation in opposition to whistleblowers, and his time renting a rental in a Capitol Hill townhouse related to lobbyists.

The EPA has spent about $3 million on Pruitt's 20-member full-time security detail.

Oil dips on signs of ample supply despite OPEC cuts, Iran sanctions
The coming US sanctions pushed up oil prices last week after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal.

During hearings last month, Pruitt, who was confirmed February 17, 2017, justified his security spending by citing threats he had received since taking office.

President Donald Trump said last week he continues to have confidence in Pruitt even as criticism of his EPA chief has increasingly been coming from fellow Republicans.

Perrotta, who wrote the email about the use of lights and sirens, also drafted a memo previous year saying Pruitt needed to fly in premium class seats because of security threats. That includes flying first class on commercial airliners.

As Pruitt left the hearing room, protesters trailed him through the halls of the Senate office building shouting "Mr. Pruitt, you should be fired!" and "You should be ashamed, Mr. Pruitt". He briskly made his way out to a waiting black SUV with tinted windows before driving away.

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