Scott Pruitt's EPA has opened secret backchannels to the climate denial industry to find "scientists" and other "experts"

The Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center sued the EPA to force it to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for access to emails to and from thinktanks associated with the climate denial industry like the Heartland Institute, Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science.

The emails reveal deputy associate administrator for public affairs John Konkus corresponded extensively with these hydrocarbon-industry-funded climate deniers, seeking lists of scientists and economists who reject the scientific consensus on climate change who would pack the EPA's hearings and public meetings.

Konkus -- a former GOP political consultant -- oversees millions in EPA science grants.

Emails show he and former EPA spokeswoman, Liz Bowman, repeatedly reached out to Heartland to talk over critical coverage by the Post.

Lakely, the Heartland spokesman, responds he's shared the article with colleagues, "asking them to jump to your aide (sic) and defend this position."

Konkus also contacted Heartland and other conservative groups asking for what he calls "echo" amplifying word of Pruitt's regulation-cutting efforts, according to the emails.

And an email from Bast, shared with EPA staffers and others, shows the then-Heartland president celebrating news that a reporter, Justin Gillis, was leaving The New York Times.

"Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead . Still waiting for Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin at the WaPo and Seth Borenstein at AP to flame out," Bast writes.

Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers [AP]

(via Naked Capitalism)