Speed Reads

bowling for corruption

Scott Pruitt wanted Rose Bowl tickets 5 days before the game, so he turned to an energy executive

Scott Pruitt can't stop digging himself into a hole of problems. And somewhere along the way, he found Rose Bowl tickets.

The Environmental Protection Agency chief apparently got tickets to the New Year's Day game from Renzi Stone, who heads the energy marketing firm Saxum, The New York Times reports. Saxum's clients include GE Oil and Gas and the American Petroleum Institute, and Stone doubles as a regent for Oklahoma University, whose football team played in the game.

As usual, Pruitt tasked an EPA aide with scheduling his Rose Bowl trip, says The Washington Post. That aide told the House Oversight Committee about the tickets, prompting Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to ask Stone exactly what happened. No formal response to Cummings has surfaced yet, but Stone emailed the Times to confirm that he was "happy to assist" his friend Pruitt when the EPA head asked for help securing tickets.

That meant getting Pruitt 50-yard-line seats five days before the sold-out game for $175 each — far less than secondary market prices at the time, per the Times. Pruitt's spokesman confirmed that asking your influential energy lobbyist pal was the "regular process" of buying football tickets.