Sen. Tom Carper resubmitted a request for information and documents to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt after receiving a nonresponsive letter from his office.
Pruitt’s letter was sent as a response to an April 7 request from Carper and 22 of his Democratic colleagues that asked the administrator to explain how the agency plans to address carbon pollution emissions and protect public health if the Clean Power Plan is rescinded as a result of President Donald Trump’s March 28 Energy Independence Executive Order. Because of the 2009 endangerment finding, the EPA has a legal obligation to greenhouse gas pollutants that could endanger public health or welfare. The lawmakers requested specific information regarding how the agency plans to carry out the EO’s directives and how it plans to fulfill its legal obligations in the absence of the Clean Power Plan, which would cut emissions from power plants by 32 percent by 2030.
Instead of addressing any of the questions posed by the senators, Pruitt’s response “consisted entirely of a four-sentence summary of the executive order, copies of two publicly available press releases and a letter [he] sent to the governor of Nevada in March,” Carper noted.
Carper continued, “Because your letter does not respond to our requests for information and documents, I ask you again to respond in full so that Congress can perform its oversight responsibilities. I remind you that you committed to being responsive to oversight requests during your confirmation process.”
In an exchange with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, during his confirmation hearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee, Pruitt acknowledged the EPA’s legal obligations to address carbon pollution emissions stating, “I believe that the EPA, because of the Mass v. EPA case and the endangerment finding, has obligations to address the CO2 issue.”