Carper on Oklahoma Court’s Decision: “Today’s ruling should finally give my Republican colleagues pause”

Judge’s orders come just hours before the Senate’s vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement in response to the Oklahoma District Court’s ruling that the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has until Tuesday, February 21st to begin to release thousands of Scott Pruitt’s email communications with officials in the oil and gas industry, as well as coal and utility officials, during his time as Attorney General of Oklahoma. These are documents that Senator Carper and EPW Democrats have requested of the nominee repeatedly throughout his confirmation process. This ruling comes just hours before the full Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Scott Pruitt to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Since the start of Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation process, I, along with my EPW colleagues, have made entirely reasonable requests of this nominee so that we could offer our advice and consent in good conscience. We simply want the truth with regard to Mr. Pruitt’s record. But, time after time, we received little but incomplete and often misleading responses from this nominee. When we made requests for pertinent public documents, we were told to go to the back of a two-year long line and wait our turn. Mr. Pruitt has stonewalled us for two months and the public for more than two years.

“Despite my repeated warnings, the majority insists on forcing Mr. Pruitt through the Senate without complete information. It is regrettable that they refuse to wait for the release of these documents before voting on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination. But today’s ruling should finally give my Republican colleagues pause. A judge in Oklahoma has seen enough to determine that the public should have access to these documents. It would be wholly irresponsible to vote on this nominee this week knowing that we don’t have the full picture. If we are going to do the job that the American people sent us here to do, we must carefully review this new information in order to better evaluate just what kind of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt would be.”