Donors to Pruitt’s Oklahoma Groups Now Lobby EPA, and Reap Benefits

As an Oklahoma politician, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt received $181,000 in political contributions from donors who lobbied the EPA last year, according to a MapLight review.

The donors include lobbyist J. Steven Hart and his wife, who have attracted attention for renting a townhouse to Pruitt, even as Hart’s firm, Williams & Jensen, has lobbied to relax the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas regulations. Hart and his wife donated $4,366 to Pruitt’s campaigns for Oklahoma attorney general and his federal leadership political action committee.

A handful of companies lobbying Pruitt’s EPA have also been major donors to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which Pruitt chaired for two years as Oklahoma attorney general. At least one organization that lobbied the EPA last year donated to RAGA’s nonprofit policy arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, while Pruitt served on its board of directors.

…As Oklahoma’s chief law enforcement officer from 2011 to 2017, Pruitt earned a reputation for working hand-in-hand with energy industry donors to challenge Obama-era EPA rules. Now, previous donors are benefiting from Pruitt’s new position.

…A total of 49 organizations that contributed to Pruitt’s campaigns or PACs from 2010 to 2016 reported lobbying the EPA last year, according to campaign finance and lobbying records.

…Koch Industries, the global conglomerate run by billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, donated $10,000 to Pruitt’s attorney general campaigns, and gave $525,000 to RAGA from 2014 to 2016. Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a secretive “dark-money” organization that receives funds from the Koch brothers, contributed $175,000 to RAGA’s nonprofit arm in 2014.

An affiliate of Koch Industries, Koch Companies Public Sector, lobbied the Pruitt-led EPA and Congress on the Clean Power Plan, and the family’s billionaire donor network recently praised the EPA’s plan to repeal the plan, according to a document obtained by the Intercept.

Donors to Pruitt’s Oklahoma Groups Now Lobby EPA, and Reap Benefits | Oklahoma Watch

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