Pruitt’s close ties with energy companies were repeatedly brought up by Democrats as the hearing got underway. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon presented a letter Pruitt sent to the EPA protesting its enforcement of methane rules.
The letter was written almost entirely by Devon Energy. Pruitt had changed just a few words.
“A public office is about serving the public,” Merkley said. “You used your office as a direct extension of an oil company rather than a direct extension of the public health of the people of Oklahoma."
Pruitt said sending the letter written almost entirely by an oil firm was appropriate.
“The letter sent to the EPA was not sent on behalf of any one company; it was particular to an industry,” he said. “There was concern expressed by many in the industry about the overestimating that occurred in relation to that methane rule.”