Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator, has a long history of prioritizing fossil fuel industry executives’ interests over those of American families.

A June 2 news article in The New York Times highlighted the relationship between Pruitt and billionaire coal baron Joseph W. Craft III, providing a quintessential example of this behavior. According to the Times:

Pruitt and Craft meet regularly, trade texts and have a pattern of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” actions. Craft donated over $1 million to political action committees supporting the Trump campaign, and an industry group where Craft serves on the board gave nearly $390,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association while Pruitt was a member.

Pruitt was invited to speak to the National Mining Association in April 2017, a meeting Craft attended. At this meeting, Pruitt may have violated anti-lobbying laws by convincing the group’s board to back Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate accord. Just two days later, Pruitt met with top officials from Craft’s coal company, Alliance, in a restaurant at the Trump hotel in Washington. Last December, Craft gave Pruitt access to his exclusive seating at a college basketball game.

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s and Pruitt’s policies are absurdly favorable to Craft and his ilk, with a proposal to strong-arm electric grids into using coal power only one of the latest examples of how they are prioritizing their industry connections over public health. This kind of cronyism is absolutely unacceptable. We need an EPA administrator who stands as an impartial figure dedicated to defending the interests of all Americans, not just their billionaire friends.

Samuel Matey