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House Science Committee Democrats Ask Chairman to Invite EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Testify

November 7, 2017
Press Release


(Washington, DC) – Today, all sixteen Democratic Members of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology wrote a letter to Chairman Lamar Smith requesting that he invite Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to testify before the Committee. The Science Committee has jurisdiction over EPA’s scientific research; the Committee has an obligation to conduct appropriate oversight of the EPA; and issues of potential mismanagement, financial abuse, and unethical conduct regarding Administrator Pruitt and his leadership at the EPA have emerged on a nearly daily basis. The Members noted that Administrator Pruitt’s predecessor testified before the Committee on three separate occasions, testifying in her role as EPA Administrator just four months after she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. It has been more than eight months since Administrator Pruitt was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and Chairman Lamar Smith has still not asked him to testify before the Committee.

“During Administrator Pruitt’s short tenure at EPA, multiple issues have already emerged regarding the costs of his travel, use of a 24/7 security detail, the vetting of scientific grants by political appointees, wasteful use of limited Agency financial resources, his ties and interactions with the industries he is expected to regulate, and other matters,” the Members wrote. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General is already investigating some of these issues. However, the American public and the U.S. Congress have a right to hear Administrator Pruitt’s responses to serious questions regarding his squandering of vital EPA resources, his potential mismanagement of his office, and decisions he has made that have jeopardized the Agency’s ability to obtain independent scientific advice and that undermine the EPA’s core mission to protect the public’s health and safety from environmental dangers.

“We call on you as Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to request that Administrator Pruitt testify before the Committee as soon as possible,” the Members wrote. “Not only is such oversight routine, but as a public official Administrator Pruitt has an obligation to address his conduct and management of EPA. His leadership of EPA in eight short months has already resulted in policies that favor the very industries he is supposed to regulate, potentially resulting in harm to Americans’ public health and safety. … It is important we hear from Administrator Pruitt to understand how he believes he is carrying out the core mission of the EPA to protect the American public from environmental risks while managing the Agency in an effective, efficient and ethical manner.”