Emails show EPA working closely with climate-change deniers

Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press

FILE - In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senior Environmental Protection Agency officials have been working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming. Recently released emails show they also recruited help to counter negative news coverage and tout Administrator Scott Pruitt's stewardship of the agency.

John Konkus, EPA's deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute. Emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of man-made climate-change.

The emails were released after a lawsuit by environmental groups under the Freedom of Information Act.