Pruitt enjoyed courtside basketball tickets—courtesy of Big Coal

The billionaire coal exec, Joseph W Craft III, second from left, has benefited from multiple of Scott Pruitt's pro-industry rollbacks. (Credit: Eric Vance/EPA)

The parade of questionable perks continues: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt scored courtside basketball tickets last December from a billionaire coal executive whose company has been busy successfully lobbying the EPA for rollbacks, according to recent reports. The two apparently go way back. The coal exec, Joseph W. Craft III, previously contributed to Pruitt’s state government campaigns in Oklahoma and later donated more than $2 million to support President Trump’s campaign and inauguration. In the 14 months since taking office, Pruitt has met with Craft at least seven times. (That’s more than the total number of times Pruitt met with all environmental groups, but who’s counting.) During that time, Pruitt also repealed the Clean Power Plan—going so far as to announce the rollback in Craft’s hometown, with Craft in the audience—and delayed a water treatment protection that Craft specifically complained was too costly. The news came on the same day as reports that the Trump administration plans to federally subsidize dying coal companies.

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