Reject Appointment of Former Coal Lobbyist to Senior EPA Position

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Removal of former coal lobbyist appointed to prominent EPA position in violation of the Trump Administration’s own ethics rules.

The Trump Administration has appointed a former lobbyist for the coal industry to a senior position within the Environmental Protection Agency. This flies against President Trump’s campaign commitment to “drain the swamp,” and violates the very ethical guidelines put in place to fulfill that pledge.

Prior to her appointment in the role of deputy associate administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Elizabeth “Tate” Bennett spent two years as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. This coalition of 900 rural utility districts is heavily dependent on coal production and has lobbied aggressively against regulations aimed at curbing carbon emissions. The association spent over $5 million dollars on lobbying efforts during Bennett’s tenure.

Ethics rules contained within an executive order signed by President Trump, specifically ban federal appointees from working in any interest area for which they have conducted lobbying efforts in the two years preceding appointment. Bennett appears to be in clear violation of this guideline as she was actively working as a lobbyist through the first quarter of 2017.

It is critical that the Trump Administration is held accountable for failure to abide by its own rules. Please sign the below petition calling on this appointee to be removed from her post.


Dear Administrator Pruitt,

I am writing to encourage your review of Elizabeth Bennett’s appointment to the role of deputy associate administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations. Ms. Bennett’s recent lobbying efforts on behalf of the coal industry should have made her ineligible for the position. As you are aware ethics rules installed by President Trump ban federal employees from working in interest areas for which they have lobbied in the two years preceding appointment.

Please demonstrate that the Trump Administration is committed to following its own guidelines by recommending that an eligible replacement be appointed to the position.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Natural Resources Defense Council

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One Comment

  1. Appalling and inexcusable.

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