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Oil and Coal Executives Clamored for Time With Pruitt, Records Show

  • Industry leaders besieged Scott Pruitt with requests last year
  • New documents show EPA carefully controlled meetings, speeches
Scott Pruitt listens during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington on April 26, 2018.

Scott Pruitt listens during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington on April 26, 2018.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The pleas began almost as soon as Scott Pruitt became Environmental Protection Agency administrator: requests from oil executives, coal miners and energy lobbyists desperate to nab time with the newly confirmed regulator.

There were coal producers -- including Arch Coal Inc., Cloud Peak Energy Inc. and Contura Energy Inc. -- eager to talk to Pruitt about what one petitioner termed his "regulatory reform efforts" at the agency. Oil executives lined up too -- including Marathon Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger, Shell Oil Co. President Bruce Culpepper and John Watson, then the chief executive of Chevron Corp. And no fewer than five state-based oil and gas associations solicited Pruitt’s appearance at conferences and meetings.