Scott Pruitt, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Provided photo
Scott Pruitt, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Provided photo
Scott Pruitt, former embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, registered as an energy lobbyist in Indiana on Thursday and his sole client appears to have ties to Terre Haute-based Sunrise Coal.

Pruitt has filed with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission, and his sole client was listed as RailPoint Solutions LLC, a Delaware corporation created in January that has no listed street address or website, according to Associated Press.

But Pruitt's form lists the name Heather Tryon as the company's manager. That's also the name of the chief financial officer of Terre Haute-based Sunrise Coal, which operates four coal mines in the state.

Tryon could not be reached for comment Friday, nor could Roy Dressler, who is listed as director of communications for Sunrise Coal, which is headquartered at 1183 E. Canvasback Drive in Terre Haute.

According to the Sunrise website, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallador Energy Company and is Indiana’s second largest coal producer.

Sunrise is focused on developing coal reserves in the Illinois Basin and it has mines in Sullivan, Knox and Clay County as well as a mine in Vermilion County, Illinois.

According to the Associated Press, the lobbying disclosure report for Pruitt provided little insight into precisely what he's doing in Indiana, but it did indicate he is a self-employed consultant who would be lobbying on issues involving energy and natural resources.

As EPA administrator, Pruitt was a staunch advocate for the continued use of coal and other fossil fuels while often downplaying the potential risks from climate change. He was forced to resign last year amid a wave of ethics scandals, including living in a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo tied to an energy lobbyist.

He also spent more than $40,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office at the EPA, among other incidents.

Two Indiana utilities recently announced plans to shutter nearly all their coal-fired power plants in the state. The Indiana Coal Council has filed appeals with state regulators seeking to block the plant closures.

Meanwhile, some Republicans in the Indiana House had been pushing a measure that seeks to put a moratorium on the construction of new gas-fired power plants or wind farms.

© 2019 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.