Of course Republicans in Arkansas don’t object to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s coziness with pals in the coal industry. That’s how we do business, too.

Think Progress rounds up the background on environmental regulators in the U.S. and finds 15 states, including Arkansas, are led by people with past jobs in industries they now regulate.


the number of state environmental regulators with industry backgrounds is indicative of a larger struggle within environmental protection that is now playing out at the highest levels of government: is the role of an environmental regulator to serve the public, or to ease burden on industry?

Arkansas’s lax enforcement of a wide range of environmental rules might help answer the question.

Becky Keogh, director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, has worked for companies with coal, gas, mining and oil interests, the article notes. She is also — cough, cough — sister-in-law of the state Republican Party chairman, Doyle Webb.