Judge: Oklahoma AG must provide records sought for 2 years

Scott Pruitt
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma judge has ordered state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, to turn over documents sought by an advocacy group related to his communication with coal, oil and gas corporations.

District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said Thursday "there really is no reasonable explanation" why Pruitt's office hasn't complied with a request filed in January 2015 by the Center for Media and Democracy.

Timmons ordered Pruitt to turn over the records by Tuesday and to comply within 10 days with other open-records requests from the group in 2015 and 2016.

The requests seek communications between Pruitt and coal, oil and gas corporations. Pruitt's office says about 400 documents were turned over last week, but Timmons says more than 3,000 have been identified.

Senate Republicans are poised to use their majority to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

A vote on Scott Pruitt's nomination is set for Friday, despite a call from Democrats for a delay.

So far, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the lone Republican saying she will vote against Pruitt. He is closely aligned with oil and gas companies, whose executives have backed his political campaigns.

Pruitt has filed 14 federal lawsuits challenging EPA regulations. Environmental groups fear Pruitt will cut EPA's workforce and gut enforcement efforts.

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