Madison-Based Watchdog Group Starts To Sort Through Pruitt Emails

Some Documents Have Been Withheld Or Redacted

Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Madison-based watchdog group says it has started to receive documents from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s time as Oklahoma Attorney General. But the group says Pruitt’s former office has asked a judge to review other records before their potential release.

Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy got an Oklahoma judge to order the release of Pruitt’s communication with oil, gas, electric and coal companies. The Center’s Nick Surgey said more than 7,500 pages of emails or other records have been released this week. Surgey said some of the documents show Pruitt helping polluters.

“I think his willingness to do things that put corporate profits ahead of interests of the environment should be worrying to people in all states, because he’s now really the leading regulator in the world for those polluting industries,” Surgey said.

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But Surgey said the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has withheld additional documents, arguing they are exempt or privileged and submitted them to the judge in the case for review. The Oklahoma office said it has gone above and beyond what’s required under the Open Records Act and remains committed to the letter and spirit of that law.

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