Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 28, 2017

Contact: Meg Townsend, (971) 717-6409,

Public Records Sought on Trump Appointees' Links to Industry

Meeting Schedules, Emails Sought for EPA's Pruitt, State Department's Tillerson

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed public records requests for information about who Scott Pruitt met with in his first days as the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as his email correspondence since his confirmation. The requests follows last week's disclosure of thousands of emails showing Pruitt's close ties to the oil and gas industry, as well as right-wing groups, during his time as Oklahoma's attorney general.

“The American people have a right to know what their government is up to, especially one with such close ties to the very industries it's charged with regulating,” said Meg Townsend, open government attorney at the Center. “Without this information we can't know whether agencies are actually safeguarding the well-being of our natural heritage or whether they're selling our air, water and wildlife to the highest bidder with no regard for human health or the environment.”

The Center's requests today under the Freedom of Information Act follow several others filed last week with the Trump administration, including:

  • A request to the Council for Environmental Quality, seeking answers about the removal of any mention of climate change from the White House webpages, as well as the deletion of the CEQ website in its entirety;

“Throughout the rushed — and, frankly, botched — confirmation process for the heads of these agencies, we've witnessed Trump cronyism at its worst,” Townsend said. “We the people have to be able to make sense of how federal agencies are carrying out Trump's corrupt privatization of our government. Without this public information we all lose.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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