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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ann McFeatters: A letter from Scott Pruitt

By Ann Mcfeatters Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON – My fellow Americans, I understand that some of you are questioning why I, Scott Pruitt, head of what’s-its-name, that environmental office that I sued 13 times, spent $100,000 to go to Morocco.

Or had to build a $43,000 phone booth.

Or have 20 bodyguards.

Or gave two talented young women on my staff $57,000 and $28,000 raises.

Or have a plan to get rid of clean-car standards.

Or paid an energy lobbyist’s wife $50 a night for a lease on her condo when I slept there.

Or flew on a private jet and in first class because those people in coach bothered me.

I explained all this to Congress, in no uncertain terms. (They should mind their own business.) But because I aspire to higher office, I will reluctantly give you my reasoning. It really doesn’t matter because I actually have to please just one guy, Donald Trump of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. No matter what I do, he loves me.

Just a few days ago the president tweeted that I am doing a “great job” (at the Environmental Protection Agency). Mr. Trump even explained that $50 a night is the going rate in Washington for a room (although not at Trump International Hotel, which costs about $1,000 a night).

Now, I am telling you I went to Morocco for four days last December to talk about sending U.S. natural gas to Morocco. I admit I told Congress it was to iron out some environmental issues on a trade deal with Morocco, although usually I have people who have people to do that. I had never been to Morocco, and I love staying in Sofitel Hotels. They serve champagne and strawberries all the time!

Yes, it turns out my good friend, Richard Smotkin, arranged it all. And how was I to know the next month he’d start getting $40,000 a month to lobby for Morocco? I think he will do a very good job for Morocco. He certainly showed me a good time. But I want to make clear he did not actually go to my meetings on, well, my meetings.

And Smotkin cares as much as I do about “protecting human health and the environment,” even though I don’t think EPA should be so aggressive about it. Not for nothing did I sue EPA 13 times when I was attorney general of Oklahoma, which is a very nice state. I go back there about every weekend. When I can, of course.

I also want to clear up something. People said they heard on Christian Broadcast Network that I said that God wants us to use oil. Well, it’s true. He gave us the oil for a reason and it shouldn’t be government’s role to make us stop using it. We have a responsibility to harvest the resources God blessed us with.

I take religion very seriously. After all, I was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Broken Arrow, Okla., and I was a trustee at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. But I am no science denier. I just don’t think climate change is something government ought to be involved in. And I don’t think all the science is in on the issue of evolution.

Also, it’s not true we have a war on science at EPA. I fired certain people because I didn’t like them, not because they were scientists who disagreed with me.

Back to my job, which I honestly do think God wants me to do. I have come to the conclusion that we need to roll back fuel efficiency standards. I know 17 states and the District of Columbia are suing me for this, but I am right and they are wrong. We won’t solve climate change, if it turns out to be real, by government mandates on what comes out of a tailpipe. I don’t really care if California says it’s a health issue.

I hear there are 11 investigations of me for ethics, spending and so-called illegalities. Bring ’em on. I’ll let you know about my next job as soon as I end the weaponization of EPA by the environmental left and the president gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

As I told CBN, “God really spoke to my heart (when reading Isaiah) where God tells Israel, ‘I will restore your leaders as in the days of old, your judges as at the beginning.’ There was just a desire that welled up in me to say I want to be like those leaders that we had at our founding, at the inception of our country.”

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Write to her at