Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns

Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns

A former coal lobbyist is set to take over the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday amid questions of unethical behavior.

The senator praised Wheeler a year ago when he was nominated to the EPA deputy administrator post, saying, "there is no one more qualified than Andrew to help Scott Pruitt restore EPA to its proper size and scope". He said Pruitt could overcome criticism from environmental groups and unflattering stories in the media, but not the lengthy list of political scandals that includes asking EPA staff to pick up dry cleaning and trying to obtain a used Trump hotel mattress for his apartment. "I applaud President Trump for placing him in this position".

In a series of tweets, the president thanked Pruitt for his "outstanding" service and announced that Andy Wheeler, the EPA's current deputy head and a former coal lobbyist and Senate staffer, will take over as acting administrator.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted.

But at the same time, Pruitt was one of the most effective implementers of the President's agenda.

"Pruitt's legal and ethical failures have overshadowed the Trump administration's reckless assault on human health and the environment", Pallone said. "He came to me and said I have such great confidence in the administration I don't want to be a distraction".


"Scott Pruitt was the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency".

The prospect of more EPA rollbacks even after Pruitt is gone is "really, really worrisome to me", he said. Pruitt was previously attorney general of Oklahoma, where he was close to the state's oil industry and waged a campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to slow climate change.

Pruitt announced his resignation on Thursday, following a barrage of ethics and spending scandals that have overshadowed his time as EPA chief.

At the time, the president was feuding with Sessions over the AG's decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, according to CNN, which cited three people familiar with Pruitt's pitch.

Wheeler was registered to lobby for Murray Energy. the nation's biggest coal mining company until August 2017, Senate records show.

The US Government Accountability Office concluded the EPA violated two laws by installing the $43,000 phone booth for his office without telling lawmakers first. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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