Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse told his constituents in Warwick earlier today that there is “zero chance I will vote for” Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump‘s choice as leader of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“This guy is not just a bad nominee,” said Whitehouse of Pruitt, who currently serves as Oklahoma Attorney General. “This is like a disturbance in the Force. And the things that are being done that are unusual and novel and peculiar to help him get through the process, is truly astonishing.
“For instance,” continued Whitehouse, “we have zero answers from [Pruitt] on his dark money fundraising operation as Attorney General. And no Republican will support [Democratic Senators] in looking into the dark money funding operation. They just won’t do it. It’s their fossil fuel industry dark money and they don’t want to cross them.
“This is a guy who has an open records act request [against] the Oklahoma Attorney General that is more than two years old. During the course of the two years, his office has admitted that there are more than 3000 responsive emails. The ask is for the emails between his office and Devon Energy, Murray Energy, ExxonMobil, American Petroleum Institute, the usual fossil fuel suspects. Production of those 3000 emails: zero.
“Not too long ago,” added Whitehouse, “the Republicans were a party that cared desperately about emails. But now suddenly its fossil fuel emails, from the guy who’s going in, and oh no no, we can’t touch any of that.”
You can see Whitehouse question Pruitt on his connections to big oil dark money here.
“So it’s worse than [Pruitt] being a terrible nominee,” said Whitehouse, “the whole process is being deformed to shoot him through and if that’s not yet another measure of the disgraceful power of the fossil fuel industry in Washington, then I don’t know what is.”
“He won’t recuse himself…” added a constituent.
“Exactly,” answered Whitehouse, “He said he won’t recuse himself from cases that he’s been a party to. That’s lawyer ethics and judge ethics 101.”