Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA head; successor a coal mining insider

Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA head; successor a coal mining insider

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 that Pruitt's deputy, the former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, would take over Monday as acting head of the agency. 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!"

In his resignation letter to the president, he writes, "I believe you are serving as president today because of God's providence".

"The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us".

And then Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY.), who ad agreed to have Pruitt appear before his committee in August, weighed in. Investigators on Capitol Hill had summoned current and former EPA aides for interviews, as part of the more than dozen federal inquiries into Pruitt's spending and management of the agency.

Under Pruitt, the EPA "rolled back punishing regulations that were hurting American workers and stifling our economy", Barrasso said. Inhofe hailed Wheeler's ascension to EPA chief.

"We have in Andrew Wheeler someone who has made a career out of trying to block everything we've done to try to protect our children from the growing dangers of climate change - a person who has made a career out of trying to push back against common sense safeguards to protect the air we breathe from risky chemicals like mercury, arsenic and others", says Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Some of the ethics accusations involved jobs for Pruitt's wife.

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California Democratic Sen. Kamala noted Wheeler's history as "a former coal lobbyist and climate-change denier", adding "The attempt to dismantle the EPA from the inside continues - we must continue to push back against efforts to harm our environment".

Pop the champagne - at long last Scott Pruitt, the controversial and destructive leader of the EPA has resigned!

In the past couple of months, almost 40,000 Care2 members signed a petition urging Trump to fire Pruitt - and honestly, who knows if Pruitt left on his own accord?

Wheeler also had a number of other high-profile clients in the energy sector, according to the Washington Post, and many of these companies have an interest in the regulations Wheeler will now make decisions about as acting head of the EPA. Many questioned the ethics of him renting an apartment in Washington, D.C., from the wife of an energy lobbyist and traveling frequently to his home state of Oklahoma on the taxpayers' dime.

Pruitt's exit came just days after a woman confronted him at a Washington restaurant and called on him to resign.

"It has become increasingly challenging for the EPA to carry out its mission with the administrator under investigation", said Barrasso, who is from Wyoming.

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