Scott Pruitt resigns as chief of United States Environmental Protection Agency

Minnie NorrisJul 08, 2018

"One, thanking the administrator for his service, and then telling everybody that it's work as usual - we're all working together - and that I share the core mission of the agency, which is to protect public health and the environment", Wheeler told the Post.

"Before everyone gets excited about Pruitt, remember we're going to get all the same horrific policy under Andrew Wheeler, without any of the comic, attention-drawing personal corruption", Vox environment writer David Roberts tweeted after President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation.

Asked about the matter at his Senate committee hearing past year, Wheeler promised he "would certainly listen to the career scientists at the agency and the outside science advisory boards to the agency on what is the best available science at the time for any regulatory decisions".

Democrats and environmental groups decried Wheeler as an apologist for the coal industry. He said Wheeler is a lobbyist who went "to bat for the very industries he's now being asked to regulate".

Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, one of the most relentless and vocal of Pruitt's Democratic critics in Congress, said he expects more of the same with Wheeler as chief.

As a lobbyist for EFI, Wheeler was present at a meeting he helped arrange in July 2017 with officials from the Department of Interior, according to emails obtained by the Sierra Club through the Freedom of Information Act, and confirmed by Wheeler to CNN.

Remember when Maxine Waters told people to publicly confront Trump Admin officials?

Trump told journalists aboard Air Force One that there was "no final straw" that led to Pruitt's departure, and that the move - which he said had been in the works for "a couple of days" - was "very much up to him".

"And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction", Trump added. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

Green groups expressed the same sentiment in response to Pruitt's resignation on Thursday.

His letter also cited "unrelenting attacks" against him and his family as the reason Pruitt made a decision to resign.

The media have hounded the White House about Pruitt for months, with every news briefing containing a question about some action of his or another.

Pruitt was reportedly taken aback by the request. "That was the position he was originally interested in". As Oklahoma's former attorney general, he waged a legal fight against the environmental rules implemented by the agency he eventually would head. In Washington, he worked relentlessly to dismantle Obama-era environmental regulations that aimed to reduce toxic pollution and planet-warming carbon emissions.

Pruitt, with his ties to big oil and coal, has been an easy target for Democrats and anyone else who opposes special interest ties in Washington DC. Those groups quickly applauded his departure. Among his former clients are Murray Energy, which teamed up with Pruitt to sue the EPA; Energy Fuels Resources Inc., a uranium mining company that recently petitioned the Trump administration to decrease the size of the Bears Ears National Monument; and a liquid natural gas company called Bear Head LNG Corp. Along with other regulatory changes on their way or already complete, this would represent a near-surrender on the part of the federal government on the issue of climate change.

Pruitt was also under fire for frequent first-class air travel and for purchasing costly items for his office, including a soundproof telephone booth. He also demanded 24-hour-a-day protection from armed officers, resulting in a swollen 20-member security detail that blew through overtime budgets and racked up expenses of more than $3 million. Through attrition, Pruitt and Trump aimed to cut EPA staff in half by 2021.

Pruitt's job had appeared in jeopardy since the end of March, when ABC News first reported that he leased a Capitol Hill condo a year ago for just $50 a night.

Top White House advisers have been encouraging Mr Trump to dismiss Mr Pruitt for months, amid mounting allegations of unethical conduct, improper spending and abuses of power.

Likewise, Pruitt's resignation letter was equally as glowing toward the president.

Bennett says the dynamic of the voting public has changed since Pruitt's reign as the state's attorney general. But will his scandals ruin his chances of a political future back in the Sooner State? In them, he noted that Trump gave money to both political parties over the years and said Trump was a successful PR person but not a successful businessman.

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