Koch Industries spent part of $3.1 million to help confirm Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, filings show

Corporate lobbyists continue to flood Washington

Published April 30, 2017 3:33PM (EDT)

 (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Corporate lobbyists wanted to ensure that President Trump's nominees would make it through their Senate confirmation hearings despite public outcries. So naturally, they spent quite a bit of money to help their political wishes come true.

Koch Industries has a long history of lobbying to the oil and gas industry, and they spent $3.1 million in just the first three months of the year "on a variety of issues affecting its bottom line, including the EPA’s Clean Power Rule on carbon emissions, carbon pricing, the Clean Air Act and “nominations for various positions at the Department of Energy, according to disclosure forms looked at by The Intercept. The forms also show that Koch Industries directly spent money so that Scott Pruitt would be confirmed as EPA Administrator.

The massive amount of money coming from Koch Industries should come as no surprise and while its not completely clear how much of an affect their expense efforts had on the outcome of Pruitt's confirmation, its evident that it was certainly the outcome they sought.

The Intercept reported:

Koch Industries has a long and contentious relationship with the EPA. The company’s pipelines were involved in over 300 oil spills between 1988 and 1996, leading to a $30 million fine in 2000, at that point the largest environmental fine in U.S. history. Other Koch subsidiaries have clashed with environmental regulators. Koch’s Pine Bend oil refinery, a major revenue source for the company, spilled up to 60,000 gallons of jet fuel throughout the 1990s.

During the contentious confirmation process, Pruitt, a global warming denier and avowed critic of rules governing industrial polluters, largely dodged questions about his relationship with Koch Industries. Previous reporting revealed that as Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt joined several Koch-backed lawsuits against EPA rules and remained in close contact with groups financed by Koch’s owners, Charles and David Koch.

Concerns over the environment continue to grow and have even poured out into the streets, but still appear to be falling on deaf ears. On Friday, the day before tens of thousands of people across the country marched to protest the Trump administration's neglect for the environment, the EPA removed most of the information pertaining to climate change from its website. In a press release the EPA stated that information was being updated to "reflect the approach of new leadership," according to CNN. Trump campaigned on "draining the swamp" but has shown little initiative that he still intends to do so.

By Charlie May

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Climate Change Climate March Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt