SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

NYT highlights Pruitt's cozy relationship with a coal baron

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scored some premium tickets to one of the most highly sought after University of Kentu...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 12:39 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 12:39 AM

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scored some premium tickets to one of the most highly sought after University of Kentucky basketball games thanks to a friend who happens to be a coal executive and major donor, The New York Times reports.

The news comes amid nearly a dozen inquiries by ethics watchdogs, federal auditors and congressional committees into Pruitt's actions at the helm of the federal government's environmental regulator.

According to the Times, Pruitt and his son, Cade, were photographed and recorded on video sitting in seats reserved for season ticket holders who donated at least $1 million to the school. The seats belong to Joseph Craft, a billionaire coal baron who leads Alliance Resource Partners -- the seventh largest coal mining company in the United States.

According to emails obtained by the Times, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin planned to be with Pruitt's group, and the EPA's security detail and Kentucky state police were to accompany them.

An EPA spokesman told the Times that Pruitt paid Craft $130 in cash for each ticket. He also said that Pruitt and Craft are "longtime friends."

Craft has been a longtime supporter of Pruitt and a large donor to President Donald Trump's election campaign. He's donated more than $2 million toward Trump's campaigns and inauguration, the Times reported. He also donated toward Pruitt's 2013 reelection campaign for Oklahoma attorney general and gave $388,550 to the Republican Attorneys General Organization during the final three years Pruitt served as its chairman.

According to the Times' review of Pruitt's schedule in his first 14 months at the EPA, Craft was scheduled to see Pruitt at least seven times and appear with him two more times -- more than Pruitt has met with any environmental group representatives.

Reporting about Pruitt's cozy relationship with Craft comes as Pruitt faces probes reviewing his travel expenses, personal security, and other allegations of ethical concerns, such as Pruitt's below-market-rate lease with a lobbyist couple, one of whom represented a client before the EPA.

Pruitt and the EPA have largely defended his actions, saying decisions were made by his subordinates and that, in some cases, "processes will be changed going forward."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 416298

Reported Deaths: 32710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22572323541
Suffolk433451997
Nassau433222194
Westchester359981446
Rockland13882674
Orange11093489
Erie8572669
Monroe4768277
Dutchess4520153
Onondaga3485200
Albany2521126
Oneida2087112
Ulster202891
Sullivan148348
Niagara144698
Putnam142863
Broome105464
Schenectady103537
Rensselaer73630
Saratoga73217
Columbia52237
Madison40017
Ontario34934
Warren30033
Orleans29554
Steuben29242
Greene28918
Fulton28324
Genesee2725
St. Lawrence2624
Washington25514
Oswego2463
Wayne2463
Herkimer2414
Chautauqua2329
Tompkins2300
Chenango2116
Tioga18925
Livingston1678
Chemung1633
Cattaraugus1596
Montgomery1574
Cayuga1482
Jefferson1340
Clinton1274
Otsego1125
Wyoming1125
Delaware1034
Cortland920
Seneca863
Allegany741
Schoharie680
Essex550
Yates557
Franklin500
Lewis350
Schuyler220
Hamilton70
Unassigned00
Utica
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Oneonta
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Herkimer
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Thendara
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left