Scott Pruitt's visit was to promote sustainable development, says Moroccan Embassy in the US

EPA's chief Scott Pruitt was invited to Morocco to promote sustainable development, says to the Moroccan embassy in Washington. The information comes as Pruitt said he has been advised to discuss LNG imports in the Kingdom by Moroccan ambassador.

According to Moroccan Embassy in the U.S. Scott Pruitt was invited to discuss sustainable development in the Morocco in his last visit./Ph. DR
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EPA's chief Scott Pruitt's visit to Morocco was initiated to deepen cooperation in the fields of solid waste management and carbon footprint reduction, Moroccan Embassy in Washington says in a statement sent Monday to Yabiladi.

An official invitation was extended by the Embassy to Scott Pruitt to promote sustainable develompent in the Kingom, says the same communiqué. The latter was issued to respond to the head of the American Environmental Protection Agency's recent allegations.

Last week, Pruitt said that the only reason he discussed natural gas exports in Morocco was because he was asked to by the Moroccan ambassador to the United States, answering Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine's question on why an EPA chief would be promoting fossil fuels in another country.

Commenting on that, the Moroccan mission in Washington stated that «this visit namely followed Morocco’s Presidency of COP22 (2016-2017) and was initiated in line with the Kingdom’s wide outreach to partner countries in the area of environmental cooperation».

Scott Pruitt has been in the middle of a huge scandal in the USA after EPA's inspector general has been asked to investigate his lavish domestic travel and security costs as well as his latest trip to the North African Kingdom. The Republican has been accused of promoting LNG when in Morocco.

A free trade agreement

«All meetings during this working visit were organized through official diplomatic channels with the objective to explore ways and means to deepen and broaden our bilateral work, namely in support of the Kingdom’s various initiatives to protect the environment, reduce Morocco’s carbon footprint and promote sustainable development», stressed the embassy.

EPA wrote in December that its chief «outlined U.S. environmental priorities for updating the Environmental Work Plan under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement and the potential benefit of liquified natural gas (LNG) imports on Morocco’s economy».

«There is a free-trade agreement, the ambassador of Morocco actually met with me in advance of the free-trade agreement that was being negotiated and completed in February of this year», clarified the politician.

In its response, the embassy assured that Scott's visit is within the frakework of the Environmental Work Plan under the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement signed in 2004.

Scott Pruitt's recent statements have been seen as a way to downplay his trip to Morocco, after being highly criticized for promoting liquified gas imports in a foreign country, arguing that this does not fall within his primary mission as head of the American Environmental agency.

Scandalous past

Earlier last month, EPA shared the Moroccan visit calendar with media, blacking out huge parts of it.

Before being nominated by President Donald Trump to head EPA starting from February 17, 2017, Pruitt criticized environmental regulations opposing the agency’s activist agenda as an Attorney General in Oklahoma in 2010.

During campaigns in Oklahoma he reportedly received, according to New York Times, contributions from the fossil fuel industry. He has also sued the agency he is now heading 14 times.

Recently, it turned out that Pruitt received a deal on rent «for a room in a condo owned by an energy lobbyist», said CNN. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders reacted to that saying that Donald Trump is not «OK» with that.

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