Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, attended the University of Kentucky basketball game with his son last December and sat in the most expensive seats that were paid for by Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive. The New York Times discovered and released this information by using the Freedom of Information Act. The seats, reserved by Craft, were donated to the university for at least $1 million. The New York Times also mentioned that Craft donated more than $2 million with his wife to President Donald Trump’s campaign and inauguration.

Pruitt's relationship with Craft

Pruitt’s close ties with Craft raises questions to the public, because he owns a prominent coal company, he’s a major Trump supporter, and he donated plenty of money to Pruitt’s state campaigns when he was attorney general of Oklahoma.

Craft is the CEO and director of Alliance Resource Partners, which is currently the country’s seventh-largest coal producer. The Courier-Journal stated that the company “operates five mines in Kentucky, including four in the western part of the state but is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.”

Since Pruitt became involved in the EPA, there have been several policy changes that were suspiciously implemented. The New York Times revealed that Pruitt made changes to President Barack Obama’s environmental policies so Craft’s company can be benefited. As of today (June 3), Pruitt made a repeal of the Clean Power Plan and he also revoked the rule of coal-powered plants from dumping toxic metals into rivers. The Clean Power Plan was implemented by Obama to stop greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The New York Times reported that Pruitt and Craft met at least seven times, which is more than meeting up with his own EPA team on the regular. His leadership style and recent decisions seem to be influenced by his connection with Craft.

Recent expenses Pruitt has made

The Washington Post reported that Pruitt had 12 fountain pens shipped out to him at the total cost of $1,560 with EPA’s seal and his name customized on each pen. Past e-mails show that the order with shipment costs totaled $3,230, which also included journals. Another suspicious activity that was made was when previous e-mails showed there was an expense of $50 per night for a room rented in a condo. Three EPA officials resigned after Pruitt got questioned. He was accused of using taxpayer money for travel expenses, including the purchase of first-class tickets for non-business related activities.

Pruitt claims that some of the expense choices were picked by the staff and he stated that he made some changes by adding that “any expense over $5,000 must be approved by top agency officials.” “I’m having to answer questions about decisions that others made. And that’s not an excuse, it’s just reality,” Pruitt said.