U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with an array of energy industry figures during his first few weeks in office.
E&E News obtained Pruitt's calendar from Feb. 21 to March 31 this year in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The 35-page document details private meetings that the newly confirmed EPA chief had during his first days at the agency — some of which have not been previously disclosed.
Several of those meetings were with senior executives in the automotive, coal, oil and gas, and utility industries. Pruitt has been criticized for his close ties to fossil fuel companies, which have come to light in thousands of pages of emails released from his time as Oklahoma attorney general (Greenwire, Feb. 22).
Asked about the administrator's meetings, Liz Bowman, an EPA spokeswoman, told E&E News that agency officials "continue to meet with a variety of stakeholders, including industry, bipartisan Members of Congress, Governors and environmental organizations."
According to his EPA calendar, on March 21, Pruitt was scheduled for a meeting in his office with top Chevron Corp. executives, including John Watson, the oil and gas giant's chairman and CEO.
The topic for the meeting?
"To discuss regulatory reform in our sector and share Chevron's perspective on global oil and gas developments. They would also be prepared to discuss issues on Administrator Pruitt's agenda," according to Pruitt's calendar.
The next day, Pruitt was scheduled to attend the American Petroleum Institute's board of directors dinner held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
The document also shows meetings Pruitt was slated to have on the sidelines of CERAWeek, an annual energy industry conference held in Houston earlier that month.
On March 9, Pruitt was scheduled to meet with Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy Corp., for an "introductory meeting" and to "discuss Duke Energy's policy priorities."
Later that day, Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co., was penciled in to meet with the EPA chief.
Pruitt was also scheduled for a morning meeting with Harald Krüger, BMW AG's CEO, on March 17.
Time slots on Pruitt's calendar were also placed on hold for meetings with Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., on March 28 and 29.
On the earlier date, President Trump went to EPA headquarters and signed an executive order to roll back several climate actions, including the agency's Clean Power Plan. Murray was in town and attended that ceremony, as seen in a photo shared on Pruitt's Twitter account.
Pruitt's calendar also shows he was scheduled to meet with several members of the House and Senate as well as governors. The EPA chief has touted his outreach to governors, saying he wants to build better relations between the agency and states.
Pruitt has also been a frequent White House visitor, according to his calendar.
On March 13, he had a lunch scheduled with Ivanka Trump, the president's oldest daughter and close adviser. Later that week, Pruitt was back at the White House to have lunch with Stephen Miller, Trump's senior policy adviser, to discuss "climate agenda."
Missing from Pruitt's calendar for his early weeks in office: meetings with major environmental organizations. Green groups have been the EPA chief's biggest critics and lobbied hard to block his Senate confirmation.
Pruitt, however, has met with environmental advocates since taking over EPA, albeit infrequently. On Earth Day this April, the administrator met with the Nature Conservancy and Audubon Society, according to an agency press release.
Click here to see Pruitt's calendar for February and March.
Reporter Hannah Northey contributed.
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