Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid scandals

President Trump's embattled chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned Thursday.

Democratic U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly said after his resignation: "Scott Pruitt's reign of venality is finally over". "Look, Scott is a terrific guy". I don't want to be a distraction.

The list of regulations opens with a letter addressed to Vice Pres. Mike Pence that states: "Enclosed is an Action Plan for the Administration of President Donald J. Trump, which will help in getting America's coal miners back to work".

President Trump on Thursday named EPA deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler - whose beliefs on environmental protection are as radical as Pruitt's - to serve as acting administrator of the agency.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", he added.

Pruitt's defenders were focused on something else entirely. "But Mr. Pruitt's brazen abuse of his position for his own personal gain has been absolutely astounding, rivaled only by the silence of far too many in Congress and in the White House who allowed Mr. Pruitt's unethical, and at times, possibly illegal behavior to go unchecked", the DE senator said in a lengthy statement.

Prominent media critics that Trump likes - including Laura Ingraham - said Pruitt was the "swamp" and needed to go.

The duration of Wheeler's tenure at the EPA is uncertain. At the time of his resignation, Pruitt was facing "at least 13" federal inquiries, The New York Times said. The report has not yet been published, officials said.

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He has been under scrutiny for renting an apartment with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist. Deputy director Andrew Wheeler will take his place.

"Wheeler is much smarter and will try to keep his efforts under the radar in implementing Trump's destructive agenda", Jeremy Symons, vice president for political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund told Politico in May of this year.

A former Oklahoma attorney general close to the oil and gas industry, Pruitt had filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the agency he was picked to lead. And later: "I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity". The former Oklahoma attorney general faced a near-constant onslaught of criticism over his frequent use of first-class travel, the installation of a $43,000 phone booth in his office and a sweetheart rental deal for a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist, among other issues.

Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump. "I'm extremely disappointed. He's the only Cabinet secretary who has done what he was told to do".

Deason said that Pruitt's moves at EPA should have outweighed his ethical missteps, which he downplayed.

Barrasso will manage the confirmation hearing for Pruitt's successor, as long as Trump nominates a replacement before the end of the year. "Pruitt is just the latest victim".

Before Wheeler took on the post as Pruitt's second-in-command, he was a principle consultant for FaegreBD Consulting.

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