Report: EPA Head Scott Pruitt Got VIP Basketball Tickets From Coal Exec

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt reportedly obtained VIP tickets to a college basketball game last year from a billionaire coal executive seeking rollbacks of Obama-era regulations on the coal industry, The New York Times reports. The ringside seats at the University of Kentucky game last December belonged to Joseph W. Craft III, a coal executive who donated $2 million to President Trump’s campaign and has been involved in a campaign to reverse environmental restrictions on the industry. Craft, who also contributed generously to Pruitt’s campaigns in Oklahoma, is said to have met with the EPA head more frequently than any environmental groups. Pruitt’s attendance at the Kentucky basketball game, the latest red flag for the EPA administrator amid mounting conflict-of-interest concerns, was left off his official schedule. But he was accompanied by both his security detail and Kentucky state police, according to the Times. An EPA spokesman has said Pruitt paid $130 in cash for two tickets to the game, though the transaction was done in cash, meaning there is no record of it.