Trump’s scandal-plagued EPA administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

07 July, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Scandal-Hit US Environment Chief Could Be Sacked

President Trump announced and accepted Thursday the resignation of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That's because Pruitt, who resigned Thursday, always saw himself as an opponent of the agency's core mission: protecting the environment and the American people from the excesses of industry.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision for the United States to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in the Rose Garden at the White House June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt's recently-Senate confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" And later: "I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity".

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News.

"I don't think there was any question of effectiveness of Scott Pruitt, and I think Andrew [Wheeler] will be in the same lane", Dempsey said.

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Pruitt faced several federal investigations, including those for misusing taxpayer funds and for renting a room from the wife of a lobbyist with business before the EPA, as he carried out Trump's agenda of rolling back environmental regulations. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form. While Pruitt appeared to be strapped, Wheeler's last job paid a base salary of $741,000, which was augmented by payments from his individual clients.

But this less flashy style is unlikely to endear him to environmental groups that had been critical of Pruitt.

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. Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said. As was reported a few months ago, Wheeler, the acting head of the EPA, is a longtime coal lobbyist who questions the validity of climate change. Under Pruitt's leadership, she said, the EPA now is focused on the mission it is supposed to have - one that is friendlier to industry.

The report was authored by the EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a politically independent body of around 35 scientists within the agency.

Pruitt's transgressions, in the eyes of many, were overwhelming: His flew first-class and asked aides about securing a military jet, secured a sweetheart apartment rental deal from a lobbyist, and sought government officials to give his wife a job, among other allegations.

Earlier this week, a woman confronted Pruitt at a Washington restaurant and urged him to "resign before your scandals push you out". "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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