By ELLEN KNICKMEYER
WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt’s stewardship of the agency.
The emails were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center through the Freedom of Information Act.
The emails show John Kokus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to the conservative Heartland Institute.
EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson says the Heartland Institute is one of a broad range of groups the agency engages with.
Heartland’s Tim Huelskamp says it will continue to work with Pruitt and the EPA against a “radical climate alarmism agenda.”