Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (2nd R) steps out of his armored SUV as he arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee outside the Rayburn House Office in Washington, DC. Photo: Associated Press

By Ellen Knickmeyer
26 May 2018

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) – Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage, and promote Administrator Scott Pruitt's stewardship of the agency.

John Konkus, EPA's deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute, according to the emails. [cf. Desdemona’s collection of Heartland Institute stories.]

"If you send a list, we will make sure an invitation is sent," Konkus wrote to then-Heartland president Joseph Bast in May 2017, seeking suggestions on scientists and economists the EPA could invite to an annual EPA public hearing on the agency's science standards.

Follow-up emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of man-made climate-change, including from groups like Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science.

The emails underscore how Pruitt and senior agency officials have sought to surround themselves with people who share their vision of curbing environmental regulation and enforcement, leading to complaints from environmentalists that he is ignoring the conclusions of the majority of scientists in and out of his agency especially when it comes to climate-changing carbon emissions.

They were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which sued to enforce a Freedom of Information request and provided them to The Associated Press.

The EPA maintains close working relationships with a broad range of public and private groups, and Heartland is just one of many the agency engages with "to ensure the public is informed," said EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson.

"It demonstrates the agency's dedication to advancing President Trump's agenda of environmental stewardship and regulatory certainty," he said. […]

The Heartland Institute calls itself a leading free-market think-tank. It rejects decades of science saying fossil-fuel emissions are altering the climate and says on its website that curbing use of petroleum and coal to fight climate change would "squander one of America's greatest comparative advantages among the world's nations."

"Of course The Heartland Institute has been working with EPA on policy and personnel decisions," Tim Huelskamp, a former Republican congressman from Kansas who now leads the group, said in a statement to the AP.

"They recognized us as the pre-eminent organization opposing the radical climate alarmism agenda and instead promoting sound science and policy," Huelskamp wrote.

He said Heartland would continue to help Pruitt and his staff. [more]

Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

0 comments :

 

Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews