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Scott Pruitt resigns as head of EPA

07 July, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns

That's because Pruitt, who resigned Thursday, always saw himself as an opponent of the agency's core mission: protecting the environment and the American people from the excesses of industry.

Wheeler, a former Senate staffer and EPA employee who spent the past decade representing coal, mining and other energy companies, will take the helm of the agency on Monday, Trump tweeted. I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright", Trump wrote.

"However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally [and] my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us", he added.

All told, Pruitt left EPA having faced more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency, including his first-class plane travel, a room that he rented from a lobbyist at $50 per night and the installation of a soundproof booth in his office.

Pruitt is out at the EPA. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form.

The official, describing Team Trump's feeling about Pruitt, wondered whether he would still hold his job as he could crop up in Democratic candidates' ads hitting the president's "swamp", CNN reported Wednesday.

The Natural Resources and Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy group, tweeted that Wheeler was just as nefarious and ill informed as Pruitt, but much more capable. Instead, with Pruitt's windy, scandal-ridden journey finally come to an end, Wheeler - and his adversaries - will likely return their focus to the environment.

"From moving to roll back strong fuel economy standards, to repealing the Clean Power Plan, to undermining chemical regulation, to suppressing climate science, to advocating for US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Scott Pruitt made the EPA stand for Every Polluter's Ally", he said in a statement.

From a policy perspective, Mr Pruitt was one of Mr Trump's most effective cabinet members.

He also ordered the installation of a secure telephone cabin in his Washington office at the cost of US$43,000, which critics found excessive.

Wheeler has largely stayed out of the limelight and previously told the Washington Examiner he has no interest in taking the EPA administrator role. It was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA. As Pruitt's controversies grew in April, the Union on Concerned Scientists said it would have serious concerns if Wheeler were made EPA administrator.

On Tuesday, Mr. Pruittwas confronted at a D.C. restaurant by schoolteacher Kristin Mink, who listed several critiques of his work at the EPA and then asked him to resign. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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