EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lived in a townhouse during his first year on the job that is part owned by a health care lobbyist married to an energy lobbyist, ABC News reported Thursday.
According to the network’s investigation of property records, the townhouse is owned by an LLC that “links to an address listed to” the couple. Steven Hart, a lobbyist specializing in energy and other areas, confirmed his wife Vicki Hart‘s ownership stake to ABC News.
“I have no ownership interest,” he told the outlet. “Obviously, I know the owners.”
Williams & Jensen, the major D.C. lobbying firm of which Hart has been Chairman and CEO since 1999, says on its website that its past clients have included “electric utilities; refiners; energy-intensive manufacturers; a solar power manufacturer; oil, refined products and natural gas pipeline operators; a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal operator; oil and gas producers; coal producers; and land owners.”
The website lists a long series of accomplishments including leading “the successful effort to repeal the 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports” during the Obama administration.
In 2010, Roll Call called Steven and Vicki Hart a “lobbyist power couple,” ABC News noted.
The Washington Post reported days after Trump’s shocking electoral victory that Hart was one of “a raft of lobbyists tied to some of the country’s wealthiest industries have been put in charge of hiring and planning for specific federal agencies.”
Hart also serves as an outside legal counsel and spokesperson for the NRA, including in the face of scrutiny over the group’s acceptance of a donation from a Russian banker.
One of Hart’s clients, Cheniere Energy Inc., was on the agenda for Pruitt’s December trip to Morocco, ABC News noted. While in the country, Pruitt advocated for the benefits of exported liquefied natural gas, the company’s unique specialty.