EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during an Independence Day picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House

Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday from his post as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Congressional Democrats have called for Pruitt's ouster for months, and on Thursday their reaction to his departure was swift. "But we will absolutely keep up the pressure", Edwards said Monday in an interview with ThinkProgress.

NBC News" website headlined its story, "Wheeler won't be any better for environment, green groups say", with a subhead that read, "The Environmental Working Group deemed Pruitt "the worst head of the agency in its 48-year history'".

And that really raised questions, especially as, over time, it emerged that the husband of this lobbyist who was the chairman of the law firm Williams & Jensen had repeatedly contacted the EPA on official business, raising questions about conflict of interest. As Pruitt's controversies grew in April, the Union on Concerned Scientists said it would have serious concerns if Wheeler were made EPA administrator.

As for the next EPA head, Trump has named the agency's deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler, as acting administrator.

"That's a disturbing pattern that I think is very common to natural resources management in general in the Trump administration".

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"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!"

In the video, Mink urges Pruitt to resign "before your scandals push you out", referring to multiple ongoing investigations including a private deal on a $50-a-day condominium arranged with the wife of an energy lobbyist, reports that Pruitt enlisted top aides to run personal errands and high spending on a round-the-clock security detail. When Wheeler was confirmed, Pruitt praised him in a statement, writing, "Andrew Wheeler has spent his entire career advancing sound environmental policies and I look forward to him bringing his expertise and leadership to the agency".

But that doesn't mean Wheeler wasn't lobbying other parts of the Trump administration following the election.

Republicans point to Wheeler's tenure as a senior staffer on Capitol Hill, where he occasionally worked with Democrats to pass legislation, as an indication that he will be more amenable to compromise than Pruitt. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA". "Make no mistake: We'll fight Wheeler's pollution agenda with the same vigor as we did Pruitt's".

"We have a bigger uphill battle because it wasn't the policies that drove Pruitt out; it was the other craziness. There is no appropriate basis for retaining a cabinet secretary who has behaved like Pruitt". "The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness". At his confirmation hearing in November 2017 to be deputy administrator of the EPA, Wheeler admitted that he viewed Murray's plan to roll back environmental regulations at the meeting with Perry. "Until then, Congress should conduct considerably more oversight because political appointees at the EPA are sidelining science and compromising the agency's effectiveness".

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