Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

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.”

###

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.

Pelosi and Hoyer to Progressives: Just Pretend Democrats Are Winning (Even If Corporate Lobbyists Are)

"If we don't act like we are winning, the American people won't believe it either," advised House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Jon Queally ·


Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo