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"When, on his first day at the agency, Scott Pruitt told EPA staff that energy development needn't conflict with environmental protection, you have to believe he means the minimal protection for air and water that Koch, Devon Energy and other fossil fuel interests always have in mind", Cook said in a news release.

Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, asked Pruitt directly, "Have you ever conducted business using your personal email accounts, nonofficial Oklahoma Attorney General email accounts, text messages, instant messenger, voicemails, or any other medium?"

The nation's environmental regulator has been a top target for the administration, which has promised to roll back the administrative state.

Federal employees are not legally prohibited from using personal email accounts for business, but they must quickly copy the emails to a government system for record-keeping and transparency purposes. "The EPA should not rush through duplicative regulations that could have serious economic consequences".

Authorities Begin Arresting Dakota Pipeline Protesters Refusing to Vacate Camp
The camp's population in recent weeks dwindled to several hundred people as the pipeline battle moved primarily into the courts. Early Wednesday, protesters burned some wooden structures on site in what they described as a leaving ceremony.

The former EPA administrator also commented on Governor Cuomo's energy plan, to get 50 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2030 as a "step in the right direction", but she disagrees with an $8 billion plan to finance upstate nuclear power plants, while Cuomo is at the same time pushing to close the downstate Indian Point nuclear power plant.

In his CPAC address, Pruitt, who as Oklahoma attorney general sued the EPA 14 times, said people who want to eliminate the agency are "justified" for such attitudes because of the regulatory overreach by the Obama administration. He later defended the move by saying it was his duty to work on behalf of the industries in his state. However, on February 24 the Oklahoma Attorney General's office confirmed that this was indeed the case. Oklahoma officials Thursday night filed an appeal and a motion for an emergency stay with the state's supreme court. Under the court order, more of Pruitt's emails are scheduled to be disclosed later this week on Friday.

"I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS". "Pruitt's office had many months to provide his emails with corporate polluters but is now complaining they don't have enough time".

Pruitt's EPA will operate differently, he said, laying out three guiding principles: respect for the rule-making process; respect to the rule of law; and true cooperative federalism. Trump is expected to sign executive orders to wipe out these regulations but the process will likely take several years with legal challenges expected.