NYT highlights Pruitt's cozy relationship with a coal baron

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scored some premium tickets to one of the most highly sought after University of Kentu...

Posted: Jun 3, 2018 11:39 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2018 11:39 PM

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scored some premium tickets to one of the most highly sought after University of Kentucky basketball games thanks to a friend who happens to be a coal executive and major donor, The New York Times reports.

The news comes amid nearly a dozen inquiries by ethics watchdogs, federal auditors and congressional committees into Pruitt's actions at the helm of the federal government's environmental regulator.

According to the Times, Pruitt and his son, Cade, were photographed and recorded on video sitting in seats reserved for season ticket holders who donated at least $1 million to the school. The seats belong to Joseph Craft, a billionaire coal baron who leads Alliance Resource Partners -- the seventh largest coal mining company in the United States.

According to emails obtained by the Times, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin planned to be with Pruitt's group, and the EPA's security detail and Kentucky state police were to accompany them.

An EPA spokesman told the Times that Pruitt paid Craft $130 in cash for each ticket. He also said that Pruitt and Craft are "longtime friends."

Craft has been a longtime supporter of Pruitt and a large donor to President Donald Trump's election campaign. He's donated more than $2 million toward Trump's campaigns and inauguration, the Times reported. He also donated toward Pruitt's 2013 reelection campaign for Oklahoma attorney general and gave $388,550 to the Republican Attorneys General Organization during the final three years Pruitt served as its chairman.

According to the Times' review of Pruitt's schedule in his first 14 months at the EPA, Craft was scheduled to see Pruitt at least seven times and appear with him two more times -- more than Pruitt has met with any environmental group representatives.

Reporting about Pruitt's cozy relationship with Craft comes as Pruitt faces probes reviewing his travel expenses, personal security, and other allegations of ethical concerns, such as Pruitt's below-market-rate lease with a lobbyist couple, one of whom represented a client before the EPA.

Pruitt and the EPA have largely defended his actions, saying decisions were made by his subordinates and that, in some cases, "processes will be changed going forward."

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Reported Deaths: 1159
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Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
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Dakota144664
Washington70035
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Rice5243
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Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
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Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
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Ringgold40
Fremont40
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