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Ethics and Accountability

2017-2021

  • April 2017

    Note­wor­thy eth­i­cal issues iden­ti­fied by attor­neys gen­er­al include Cal­i­for­nia Attor­ney Gen­er­al Xavier Becer­ra fil­ing a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) request in April 2017 for doc­u­ments relat­ing to Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) Admin­is­tra­tor Scott Pruit­t’s poten­tial con­flicts of inter­est stem­ming from his time as Okla­homa Attor­ney Gen­er­al, where he took legal and fac­tu­al posi­tions in court fil­ings con­trary to the EPA’s positions.

  • May 2017

    In May 2017, the EPA announced that Admin­is­tra­tor Pruitt had recused him­self from some cas­es in which he had sued the EPA as Okla­homa Attor­ney Gen­er­al. He did not recuse him­self, how­ev­er, from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the EPA’s rule­mak­ing process­es, includ­ing the Clean Pow­er Plan rule, despite the clear con­flict grow­ing out of his pri­or role as Okla­homa state attor­ney general. 

  • August 2017

    There­fore, in August 2017, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Becer­ra sued the EPA for fail­ing to com­ply with his FOIA request.

  • Jan­u­ary 2018

    In Jan­u­ary 2018, a coali­tion of 12 state attor­neys gen­er­al, led by Attor­ney Gen­er­al Becer­ra, filed an exten­sive, well-doc­u­ment­ed demand that the EPA with­draw the pro­posed repeal of the Clean Pow­er Plan because Admin­is­tra­tor Pruitt as Okla­homa Attor­ney Gen­er­al and as EPA Admin­is­tra­tor had pre­judged the out­come of the repeal process.