Energy & Environment

Environmental group hangs posters mocking Pruitt’s DC condo rental


An environmental group hung posters around Washington, D.C., mocking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt over the scandal regarding a condo he rented last year.

The posters appeared Friday morning in public spaces mostly around Capitol Hill, where Pruitt currently lives and previously lived at a lobbyist couple’s condo for $50 each night he slept there. They were also spotted outside the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington, which is owned by President Trump’s company.

Friends of the Earth, an activist environmental group, took credit for the posters, saying it has put up 300 of them.


“Americans are fed up with Scott Pruitt. He’s wasting their tax dollars on his luxurious lifestyle, giving handouts to corporate polluters and poisoning our air and water,” said Lukas Ross, lead climate and energy campaigner at the green group.

“Activists around the country are increasing pressure to seek the removal of Scott Pruitt. And as Trump refuses to act, Congress must,” he said. “We will not back off until Congress steps up.”

The posters advertise, “Luxury condo on Capitol Hill, $50 a night!!! Live luxuriously for cheap — just like Scott!” They feature a photo of Pruitt juxtaposed in front of a luxury interior.

In the fine print, the posters specify that the $50 rate is a “special rate void if not a Trump administration official able to provide special favors. Property may be used to host GOP fundraisers.”

The posters advise readers to call to inquire about the rental, with pull tabs listing the phone number for the EPA’s Office of Public Affairs.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Friday morning that the office had not been getting calls stemming from the posters.

A week ago, ABC News and Bloomberg News reported that Pruitt had, for about six months last year, rented a condo near the Capitol from Vicki Hart. Hart is a health lobbyist, while her husband, J. Steven Hart, chairs the lobbying firm Williams and Jensen, which has numerous energy and fossil fuel clients.

A rental costing $50 per day, chargeable only when the tenant is there, is extremely difficult to find in that area. But Pruitt and EPA ethics officials nonetheless said it complied with ethics rules.

Pruitt’s daughter also lived in the condo for a time period without paying additional rent.

Later, the EPA’s ethics office said its ruling on the rental did not consider factors such as using an additional bedroom in the property, as Pruitt’s daughter was alleged to have done.

The rental and other recent controversies have put Pruitt in a swarm of scandal. White House officials and numerous lawmakers are scrutinizing Pruitt over the rental and a recent revelation that the EPA gave two aides raises after the White House rejected his request.

The New York Times reported Thursday that five EPA officials were punished in various ways for questioning Pruitt over his spending and management decisions.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers and three Republicans have called on Pruitt to step down or be fired.

Updated at 11:43 a.m.

Tags condo rental Donald Trump Environmental Protection Agency Friends of the Earth Scott Pruitt
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