Embattled EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns; President Trump Announces Move On Twitter

Posted July 09, 2018

President Trump tweeted on Thursday, announcing Pruitt's departure from the EPA.

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", tweeted the President.

"With Scott Pruitt in charge, we can finally unravel the mess of the EPA, and begin developing and implementing thoughtful policies that will make measurable improvements to our natural resources and unleash an energy revolution that will bring jobs and higher wages to Americans". He is now facing more than twelve federal investigations, including from the EPA's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He is accused of using public funds for personal travel or office improvements, bypassing the White House to secure huge salary rises for some of his staff members, renting an apartment with ties to a lobbyist from the energy industry and several other improprieties at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wheeler takes over the agency on Monday.

While Wheeler may find it hard to accumulate the same number of ridiculous scandals as his predecessor, many pointed to the fact that he hosted fundraisers for GOP senators while they were evaluating his nomination for deputy EPA administrator as clear evidence of his contempt for basic ethical standards.

In 2009, he became a lobbyist for the firm Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting.

President Trump meets with several Supreme Court contenders
Trump is expected to announce his pick from the list , which now comprises over 25 judges from across the country, on July 9. Possible nominees being eyed include Thomas Hardiman, who serves alongside Trump's sister on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S.

Asked about the matter at his Senate committee hearing a year ago, Wheeler promised he "would certainly listen to the career scientists at the agency and the outside science advisory boards to the agency on what is the best available science at the time for any regulatory decisions". We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children. "Unlike Pruitt, Wheeler worked for the EPA early in his career and has played key roles in Congressional oversight of the agency and its budget, making him a formidable opponent with intimate knowledge of the agency's programs and regulations", the group said in the April blog post.

The duration of Wheeler's tenure at the EPA is uncertain. His deputy, Andrew Wheeler, is taking over as acting director.

"I am the deputy administrator", Wheeler said. I wasn't interested in that.

Democrats and environmental groups decried Wheeler as a coal apologist and former top aide to a GOP senator who rejects mainstream climate science. The vote was narrowly passed in the Senate, and officials were highly divided along party lines - with every Republican voting in favor and all but three Democrats voting against Wheeler.Wheeler is now first in charge, and for many Democrats, environmental activists, and others who were relieved to see Pruitt step down, the news comes as a disappointment.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency". Coal giant Murray Energy Corporation is one of his previous clients.