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Pruitt Arranged Sweetheart Condo Deal Directly with Fossil Fuel Lobbyist

Pruitt advocated for lobbyist’s interests during taxpayer-funded international trip.

WASHINGTON - It may be spring, but Scott Pruitt’s scandals continue to snowball, as ABC News reported today that Pruitt worked directly with fossil fuel industry lobbyist Steven Hart to secure living arrangements in a townhouse owned by the same lobbyist’s wife. According to ABC, Pruitt paid for just one room in an otherwise unoccupied townhouse and experts on government ethics are raising questions as to whether this was a fair market transaction. Meanwhile, former White House Ethics Czar Norm Eisen said Pruitt likely secured the property below market value, categorizing the deal as a major ethics violation.

Hart is the head of the DC lobbying firm Williams and Jensen, which specifically lobbies the EPA on Clean Air Act policies, according to ABC. Hart represents Cheniere Energy, the company that owns the only Liquid Natural Gas export plant that was active when Pruitt travelled to Morocco last year on a taxpayer funded trip to tout liquid natural gas. Hart’s firm also represents the American Automotive Policy Council, which includes automakers such as Ford, who has been lobbying Pruitt to roll back the clean car standards. Pruitt is expected to side with Ford and begin rolling back the standards in the coming days.

While living in the home, Hart continued to have dinner parties and functions, raising questions about whether political fundraisers were held in the House while Pruitt was there. Hart and his firm have donated more than $600,000 to political candidates this year.

Meanwhile, White House officials are reportedly “dismayed” at Pruitt’s continued scandals, raising the prospect that Pruitt could be the next cabinet member tossed out.
 

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

"Let’s get this straight: Scott Pruitt got a sweetheart deal on a D.C. condo directly from a fossil fuel lobbyist, then wasted thousands in taxpayer dollars pushing that lobbyist’s agenda on a trip to Morocco. This deal stinks like the swamp Scott Pruitt is mired in. Pruitt’s wanton corruption doesn’t just ignore the rule of law and clear ethical boundaries, it threatens the health of our families. The fossil fuel lobbyists Pruitt is taking favors and marching orders from are telling him to throw out the safeguards that keep our air and water safe from their pollution, and our kids are  at risk as a result. Pruitt does not care about the law, he does not care about taxpayers, and he does not care about our families. He must be fired immediately.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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