Okla. oil CEO spurred Pruitt on climate study

This article discusses how Scott Pruitt and the fossil fuel industry seem to be joined at the hip.

EPA officials and an Oklahoma oil industry executive quietly collaborated on a plan to scrutinize uncertainty in climate science.

Newly released emails show that Randy Foutch, CEO of Tulsa-based Laredo Petroleum Inc., pitched EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last year on an academic effort to assess the accuracy of climate models. Pruitt’s staff subsequently consulted with Foutch and officials at the University of Texas, Austin, Energy Institute, where Foutch sits on an advisory board, according to emails recently released to the Natural Resources Defense Council under a Freedom of Information Act request. The effort came as Pruitt publicly played up the uncertainties in climate science and pushed a separate “red team, blue team” effort aimed at poking holes in established climate research.

Foutch sent an email to Pruitt in April 2017, suggesting the agency could help develop a study that would assess climate models that are used to make future predictions about global warming. That email was sent to Andy Miller, a career employee and EPA’s associate director for climate in the Office of Research and Development to inquire about Foutch’s idea. Miller spent months communicating directly with Foutch about climate models and the study, the emails show.

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