Scott Pruitt Steps Down From EPA

James Marshall
July 7, 2018

President Trump tweeted the announcement, saying the agency's deputy administrator will assume the position until the President nominates a new Secretary.

But Pruitt was caught off guard by Kelly's call and flummoxed by his request to resign, one of the people said.

"No final straw", Trump said Thursday, when asked what led to his decision. Murray also suggested slashing the number of EPA staff in half.

New York's attorney general's office has also battled Pruitt's EPA in court, winning a suit similar to the Adirondack Council's on the same day.

Pres. Donald Trump announced Thursday on Twitter Pruitt would be resigning from the post, making Wheeler the newest chief of the almost 50-year-old agency. Some of the ethics accusations involved jobs for Pruitt's wife.

In them, he noted that Trump gave money to both political parties over the years and said Trump was a successful PR person but not a successful businessman.

In his resignation letter, posted by Fox News, the former Oklahoma attorney general thanked President Trump for his courage and commitment to "historical regulatory reform". It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.

The departure follows years worth of constant scandal and public outrage for Pruitt's constant profligate spending and insider dealing.

Kristin Mink, a Maryland teacher, made headlines earlier this week when she confronted Scott Pruitt while holding her two-year-old son in a Washington, D.C. restaruant, urging him to resign.

The prospect of more EPA rollbacks even after Pruitt is gone is "really, really worrisome to me", he said.

The departure marked a precipitous fall for Pruitt, who during his roughly 16 months in office took steps to reverse more than a dozen major Obama-era regulations and overhauled key elements of the agency's approach to scientific research.

Pruitt is out at the EPA.

Wheeler was only marginally approved as EPA deputy in April.

Last month, while praising Pruitt's "fantastic job" at the EPA, the president admitted, "I'm not happy about certain things, I'll be honest".

That particular proposal was shot down by federal regulators, but with Pruitt's help, the Trump administration has made inroads on most of that plan's 16 points, with devastating consequences to the environment-including the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate accords, the rejection of Obama's Clean Power Plan, and slashing the staff of the EPA down to a level not seen since the 1980s attacks on the agency by President Reagan. "We can't afford more pollution and asthma attacks - our children's health and their future depends on it".

Having worked for Murray Energy, one of the biggest coal companies, Wheeler is unlikely to make any sort of serious effort to force the coal industry to clean up its act.

It's possible that Trump will decide to keep Wheeler on as EPA head, but his prospects might be hampered by anti-Trump social media posts that Wheeler made before the 2016 election.

"Pruitt abused power in a disgraceful way by using the job for perks and trying to enrich himself and his family", Hurlbut told GTM.

Wheeler has spent more than two decades in Washington.

Andrew Wheeler, seated on the far right, attended a March 2017 meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray about promoting policies to benefit the finances of the coal industry.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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