Ron Wackowski: Disappointed in Senator Gardner’s response
July 9, 2017
I am disappointed in Senator Gardner's response to my information requests.
In February, I emailed him “What experience does Scott Pruitt possess that convinced you that he is a good choice to lead the EPA?" I received back a form letter that stated: "Attorney General Scott Pruitt demonstrated that he understands the importance of protecting the environment …" My request for examples of Mr. Pruitt standing up for the environment as attorney general of Oklahoma resulted in another copy of the same letter.
After leaving multiple messages at the Senator's D.C. and Grand Junction office, I spoke with someone at the Denver office who committed to back to me with examples. After multiple follow-up messages, I spoke again with the Denver staffer. He said he was unsuccessful getting a reply from the D.C. office.
I summarized this experience for my Denver contact stating I planned to share it in newspapers if I received no response. That afternoon, May 18, I received a call from the D.C. office with the following examples, all from between Mr. Pruitt's nomination and confirmation:
- Assured he would reverse the EPA decision to not compensate those harmed by the Gold King Mine spill.
- Committed to clean up old mine sites.
- Committed to continue the cleanup of superfund sites.
- Wrote an op-ed on the role of technology in improved air quality.
I emailed the individual to Ensure I understood his examples, to request a link to the op-ed, and to ask for examples from before Pruitt's nomination … No response.
So, what are my conclusions?
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First, I conclude there are no examples that justified Scott Pruitt's nomination as EPA administrator.
Secondly, I conclude that I am not important enough for a thoughtful reply from Senator Gardner. I have been patient, but waiting over five months for a response is ridiculous and insulting.