EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned his post Thursday amid inquiries and criticism stemming from various ethics scandals.

The senator praised Wheeler past year 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".

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Wheeler's scandal-free clean slate may give him an opportunity to pursue Trump's agenda with the EPA no longer in the spotlight, though it's unclear how long he'll be running things at the agency as he has said in the past he's not interested in the top job.

Trump tweeted Thursday that EPA deputy Andrew Wheeler would "assume duties as the acting administrator of the EPA". As Trump tweeted, announcing that he'd accepted the resignation, "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda".

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But even the president, who has frequently praised the agency's work under Pruitt, came to the conclusion that the former Oklahoma attorney general's professional achievements were not worth the steady media drip of Pruitt's personal peccadilloes.

Earlier in April, the independent Government Accountability Office said Pruitt's agency broke the law when it spent $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth without first notifying Congress. Pruitt defended himself against numerous allegations, saying that people are creating controversy because they are against his and the administration's agenda at EPA.

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, of NY, said it's "time for new leadership at the EPA" after the resignation.

Pruitt's replacement, deputy administrator Andrew K. Wheeler, is cut out of the same cloth, according to multiple news reports.

"Pruitt's departure may cost us some jokes, but it won't change the Trump administration or help save the planet or Americans' health".

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He has been under scrutiny for renting an apartment with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist.

Pruitt also rankled some Republican lawmakers, including in Midwest corn states, with his efforts to overhaul a USA policy requiring biofuels like corn-based ethanol in gasoline.

Pruitt refuted the criticisms after first touting efforts made at the EPA during his time in the Trump administration.

The Times described Wheeler as "a former coal lobbyist who shares Mr. Pruitt's zeal to undo environmental regulations". The person in charge of the EPA's FOIA staff, which has slow-walked and obstructed FOIA requests, is a political ally of Pruitt's and the former treasurer of his PAC.

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