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Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:18

Pruitt Names Lawyer Who Defended Koch Industries as a Top EPA Law Enforcer

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Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt may have skipped the G7 climate meeting more than a day early, but he has certainly kept busy staffing his agency.

POLITICO reported that Pruitt has named energy industry attorney Patrick Traylor as a deputy in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

The office, which the Trump administration reportedly tried to cut, enforces key anti-pollution laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act to protect the environment and vulnerable communities.

Traylor, whose LinkedIn profile indicates he started the job in June, was a longtime partner of the international law firm Hogan Lovells and has represented companies owned by the Koch brothers and other energy industry giants.

Per POLITICO, "clients include utility Southern California Edison; Venture Global LNG, a natural gas exporter; Flint Hills Resources, a Koch subsidiary refiner; Koch Nitrogen, maker of synthetic fertilizer; and several wind companies seeking Endangered Species Act permits."

Traylor has also defended Dominion Energy and TransCanada, as New York Times reporter Eric Lipton tweeted. Dominion is behind the highly contested Atlantic Coast Pipeline and TransCanada's is responsible for the Keystone XL.

Clients have turned to Traylor "to support tens of billions of dollars' worth of projects at refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer plants, LNG export terminals, coal- and gas-fired power plants, coal mines, and bulk materials terminals," according to Hogan Lovells' website.

"For almost 20 years, clients have relied on Patrick to conduct some of their most sensitive internal compliance investigations and represent them in Clean Air Act enforcement cases," the site adds.