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Emails Show EPA's Cozy Alliance With Major Climate Denial Group

May 31 2018 | 11:04:54
Newly released emails show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Scott Pruitt has routinely been in contact with one of the most prominent climate denier groups, the AP reported this weekend.The emails, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center, show that John Konkus, a deputy public affairs official, routinely reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute to collaborate on denier invitee lists for a proposed public hearing on climate science last May.Konkus and EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman also regularly commiserated with Heartland officials on negative press coverage of the agency, and collaborated on ways to amplify positive messages. Then-Heartland president Joseph Bast celebrated the retirement of New York Times climate reporter Justin Gillis in an email shared with EPA staffers last fall, writing that he is "still waiting for Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin at the WaPo and Seth Borenstein at AP to flame out.""The emails underscore how Pruitt and senior agency officials have sought to surround themselves with people who share their vision of curbing environmental regulation and enforcement, leading to complaints from environmentalists that he is ignoring the conclusions of the majority of scientists in and out of his agency especially when it comes to climate-changing carbon emissions."