SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Aug. 11 that his office has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Becerra had sent the letter to the EPA requesting documents on Administrator Scott Pruitt’s potential conflicts of interest. Pruitt had been the attorney general of Oklahoma before beginning his tenure at the EPA. As attorney general, he drafted multiple lawsuits against the agency.
Pruitt announced in May that he would recuse himself from any of those lawsuits that are still ongoing. He will not, however, recuse himself from participating in EPA rulemaking regarding the same rules he had sued against while attorney general.
“The EPA is legally required to respond to our FOIA request. Administrator Pruitt and the Trump administration are not above the law,” Becerra said.
“The public has a right to know whether Pruitt and the EPA have complied with federal ethics laws. Pruitt’s ability to serve as an impartial decision-maker merits close examination, especially now that he has taken a direct role in initiating review of numerous EPA regulations he sought to undo while serving as Oklahoma’s attorney general for six years."