Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency were so worried that a fancy desk that their former boss Scott Pruitt had ordered for his office might contain high levels of a known carcinogen that they arranged to set it up in a warehouse and let it air out for a week.
The problem is that the same officials later blocked the release of a draft report prepared before President Donald Trump took office on the dangers of exposure to the same substance, formaldehyde, to the general public.
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From DIETER KURTENBACH at The Mercury News:
INDIANAPOLIS — I wish I could have left too.
Reporters and columnists should be allowed to be sanctimonious about having to watch two bad NFL teams fail to execute for four quarters and an overtime.
But Vice President Mike Pence has no problem with sanctimony. And it seems like his boss loved him leaving Sunday’s game early, too.
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
The Environmental Protection Agency is spending $24,570 to build a “privacy booth” for the agency’s chief, Scott Pruitt, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
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From VANITY FAIR:
On Monday, Trump convened his first full Cabinet meeting since taking office, gathering the heads of every major government agency for a press gaggle around the elliptical mahogany table that occupies a prominent place in the West Wing. Traditionally, the media is present only at the beginning of such meetings, during which the president makes a brief statement and a few photos are snapped before a review of the administration’s progress continues behind closed doors. Trump tried something a little different.
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Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday.
The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency, culminating in a narrow 52-46 vote Friday to confirm him.