EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Fends Off Democrat Critics, Makes Case for Deregulation in Testy Hearings


EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt offered up a vigorous defense of his record amid negative media coverage of his travel, security, and living expenses Thursday while appearing before two House subcommittees.

“Much of what has been targeted toward me and my team has been half-truths or at best stories so twisted they do not represent reality,” Pruitt said in opening remarks to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy subcommittee.

The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, who also testified before an Appropriations Committee panel, said attacks on him and his staff are part of a larger agenda to derail President Donald Trump’s efforts to cut burdensome regulations on individuals and businesses.

“I simply will not let that happen,” he said.

Although both hearings had been scheduled to address the EPA’s budget, committee members spent the bulk of their time questioning Pruitt about allegations concerning his public expenditures and management decisions.

Beforehand, EPA officials distributed a 23-page document disputing what the agency describes as “false claims” circulated in the news media concerning Pruitt’s international travel, security expenses, and housing arrangements.

The document cites information showing that Pruitt’s international travel costs so far actually are lower than those of his predecessors in the Obama administration.

Pruitt, in office since …read more