- Copies of all communications related to grants for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 between any employee of the Executive Office of the President and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and/or Chief of Staff to the Administrator Ryan Jackson, White House Liaison Charles Munoz, and Deputy White House Liaison Hayley Ford between July 24, 2017 and August 15, 2017;
- Copies of all communications by anyone in the Office of the Administrator related to grants for EPA Region 10 on July 28, 2017;
- Copies of all communications that relate or refer to health care by Administrator Pruitt and/or Mr. Jackson, Mr. Munoz, Ms. Ford, Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Affairs Elizabeth Bowman, and Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Affairs John Konkus between July 24, 2017, and July 9, 2017;
- Copies of all communications that relate or refer to Alaska and/or Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) by Administrator Pruitt and/or Mr. Jackson, Mr. Munoz, Ms. Ford, Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Affairs Elizabeth Bowman, and Deputy Associate Administrator for Public Affairs John Konkus between July 24, 2017 and July 29, 2017.
On July 28, 2017, Sen. Murkowski, along with two other Republican senators, voted against the legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, effectively ending the legislative effort to repeal the law. On that same day, “EPA staffers were instructed without any explanation to halt all grants to the regional office that covers Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. That hold was quickly narrowed just to Alaska and remained in place for nearly two weeks.” The decision to place a hold on grants to Alaska was reportedly considered so unusual that it prompted consultation with EPA lawyers, according to two officials at the agency who spoke to the Washington Post. Ms. Bowman, acting as an EPA spokesperson, denied to the Washington Post that Alaska had been singled out.
The requested records would shed light on the purpose of the temporary hold on EPA’s Alaska grants, including whether retribution against Alaska’s interests due to Sen. Murkowski’s health care vote was a factor. The records would also increase public knowledge about whether EPA resources are being used for purposes unrelated to EPA’s mission.