Welcome to the Climate Fwd: newsletter. The New York Times climate team emails readers once a week with stories and insights about climate change. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
This week, we’re previewing Scott Pruitt’s testimony, answering your climate questions and updating you on current events. (That last one is a bad pun — you’ll see why.)
It might not rise to the level of James Comey’s testimony before the Senate last year, or even Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance on Capitol Hill this month, but when Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, appears before two congressional committees on Thursday it is certain to be worth watching.
Environmental groups have already planned morning protests ahead of Mr. Pruitt’s testimony, while Senate Democrats intend to hold a news conference demanding “ethics accountability” from the administrator.
Once inside the room Mr. Pruitt can expect to be hit with questions from both parties on a long list of ethics issues, most of which are now targets of 10 different federal inquiries. Here’s our guide to the investigations into Mr. Pruitt’s practices. Some of the biggies: A $50-a-night condo rental from the wife of an energy lobbyist; frequent first-class travel; a 20-person, round-the-clock security detail; and the purchase and installation of a $43,000 secure phone booth in Mr. Pruitt’s office.
An internal E.P.A. document reviewed by The New York Times shows Mr. Pruitt is prepared to deny responsibility for the spending or ethics issues. But congressional hearings have been known for surprises. Ken Calvert, the top Republican on the House Appropriations panel that will question Mr. Pruitt on Thursday afternoon, told my colleague Coral Davenport, “We’re going to ask him every question you can imagine.”