Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency has yet another scandal to add on the seemingly ever-growing list. This time around, the incident is centered all around some excellent seats at a University of Kentucky basketball game and a billionaire coal baron.
On Saturday, The New York Times published a report that stated Pruitt's VIP floor seats were courtesy of Joseph W. Craft III, an executive with Alliance Resource Partners. Craft has been working hard at trying to reverse Obama-era coal regulations. "The relationship is so close that the two men trade text messages, with Mr. Craft proposing in one July 2017 exchange a possible 'long-awaited' dinner and another visit with his company’s executives," the report reads.
Back in October, Pruitt announced his plan to the repeal of the Clean Power Plan also in Kentucky, in the same neighborhood Craft grew up in. Jahan Wilcox, an E.P.A. spokesman, told the Times, "Administrator Pruitt and Joe Craft are longtime friends," and did not comment further.
The wildly unpopular Pruitt, who was appointed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency by Trump, is now infamous for using taxpayer dollars to cover his lavish lifestyle. He regularly insists on flying first class on the taxpayer's dime for his own "protection," he said. He has also spent $3,000 to ensure his office is free of listening devices, $43,000 for a "privacy booth" to make his phone calls, and CNN reports that recent documents show that his staff purchased a $1,500, set of 12 fountain pens and a $1,600 set of journals.