Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been praised by many for rolling back unreasonable Obama-era regulations, including some that affect the coal industry. Good for him for pursuing President Donald Trump’s agenda energetically.
Questions about Pruitt’s ethics have been raised, however. They are in two categories:
First, Pruitt is spending lavishly on security for himself. In contrast to former EPA leaders, the amount spent on ensuring his safety has been enormous.
In directing what is a very politically incorrect campaign against some regulations, Pruitt is making many enemies. Consideration of security spending needs to be viewed in that light.
Another concern is entirely different, however. It is that Pruitt has accepted some favors from the private sector. His cut-rate rental of a private condominium from a lobbyist representing fossil fuel clients has been cited.
Taxpayer spending to keep Pruitt safe is one thing. Conflicts of interest are another.
Regardless of how much good Pruitt has done — in carrying out Trump’s directives, it should be noted — he should be held to an appropriate ethics standard. If he has crossed the line on that, he should be held accountable.