Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns
07 July, 2018, 04:06 | Author: Emmett Howard
As Pruitt's scandals mounted over the past year, many were amazed he hung on.
President Donald Trump announced Pruitt's resignation on Twitter, noting that EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the title of acting administrator as of Monday.
Pallone said Wheeler won't make a difference at the agency. He also was a top aide at the Senate Environment Committee before becoming a lobbyist nine years ago. Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist. "I don't want to be a distraction.' And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction". "But let's not forget he was carrying out President Trump's policies". "I think Scott saw that he was, he was, uh - look, Scott is a terrific guy".
"I made those comments during my time working on the Rubio presidential campaign", Wheeler said in a statement to The Hill. "He'll go and do great things and have a wonderful life, I hope".
"It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it as a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also because of the transformative work that is occurring", he wrote in his resignation letter obtained by Fox News.
White House advisers promptly shot down Pruitt's proposal, it was reported.
Trump offered nothing for praise for the latest official to leave his administration.
But Mr Pruitt has been embroiled in allegations of ethics violations for months, including issues with his travel and security expenses and a condo arrangement.
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Trump said he had accepted the resignation of the beleaguered EPA chief. "That was the position he was originally interested in".
"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.
Inhofe, who dismisses global warming as a hoax and famously tossed a snowball on the Senate floor to prove his point, hailed Wheeler's ascension to EPA chief.
Some of the ethics accusations against Pruitt involved jobs for his wife.
Pruitt has been buffeted by numerous revelations about extravagant spending, including $1,560 for a dozen fountain pens, $3,000 on "tactical pants" and "tactical polos", $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office and $120,000 on a trip to Italy.
Wheeler "has the potential to be just as destructive", said Michael Mikulka, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704. His firm was paid $300,000 past year. It was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA.
As of June, Pruitt was the subject of at least 14 federal investigations, according to The Guardian.
It was not immediately clear how Pruitt's resignation might affect those ongoing probes.
Ethical charges aside, many Republicans in oil- and gas-dependent Oklahoma are focused more on what they consider his accomplishments at the EPA, said Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Pam Pollard.
Pollard said that was the right strategy. "I think Oklahomans still love him, support him and trust him".
"We urge him to immediately commit to undoing the massive damage to EPA's work done under Pruitt's leadership".
Scott Pruitt's tenure as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ended with his resignation, but political experts in his home state of Oklahoma say he could continue his career in public office.
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