Report: Lobbying Docs Show Pruitt’s Townhouse Deal Did Create Conflicts

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt looks back after speaking to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was either lying or ignorant when he claimed that his former landlord’s lobbyist husband doesn’t have any clients with business before the EPA.

That’s according to the Daily Beast. The website looked into lobbying records and determined that yes, powerful energy lobbyist Steven Hart — a friend of Pruitt’s from Oklahoma — has clients with business before Pruitt’s agency. Hart is chairman and CEO if Williams & Jensen, one of the most prominent lobbying firms in the country. His wife, Vicki Hart, is a health care lobbyist and Pruitt’s former landlord. 

Steven Hart was part of a four-member team at Williams & Jensen to represent glass bottle manufacturer Owens-Illinois as an EPA lobbyist, according to the the Daily Beast report. Owens-Illinois’ joint venture with MillerCoors, Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, announced a settlement with the EPA, DOJ and state of Colorado in June 2017, while Pruitt was living in the townhouse.

Contrary to Pruitt’s claims, according to the Daily Beast, Hart also represents Cheniere Energy, the liquid natural gas exporter that Pruitt championed during a December trip to Morocco.

Hart has more energy clients, according to the Daily Beast, including Black & Decker subsidiary Stanley Oil and Gas; and Smithfield Foods, which burns animal waste to create energy. 

The report also listed others of Hart’s clients regulated in part by the EPA: Coca-Cola, United Airlines and, until recently, a trade group representing Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors.

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