By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook — literally — since he questioned the link between human activity and climate change.
The calls to Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700, reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
By Saturday morning calls went straight to voice mail, which was full and did not accept messages. At least two calls received the message that the line was disconnected, but that appeared to be in error.
EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said in an email that the agency “has logged about 300 calls and emails.”
While constituents sometimes call lawmakers in large numbers to express outrage over contentious policy issues, it is unusual for Americans to target a Cabinet official.
Pruitt’s comments on the CNBC program “Squawk Box” — that “we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis” over climate change — prompted an immediate pushback from many scientists and environment groups. It also drew a rebuke from at least two of his predecessors at the EPA.