Donald Trump's scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt resigns

09 July, 2018, 17:40 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Scott Pruitt

Florida Democrats eagerly pointed to Adam Putnam's early praise of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in the wake of Pruitt's resignation Thursday after a scandal-plagued 18 months at the helm.

"We need an EPA administrator - and I know this is a radical idea - that actually believes in environmental protection", Sanders said, "rather than just the profits of the oil, gas or coal industry".

Pruitt had become a constant source of embarrassment to a president who had entered Washington promising to "Drain the Swamp". Reports also indicate Pruitt asked EPA staff to run personal errands for him not pertaining to the agency's responsibilities and he has had close ties with industry giants the agency has previously regulated.

Speaking to Jim Sciutto on "The Lead with Jake Tapper", the independent Vermont senator said he is "vigorously opposed" to Wheeler as Pruitt's replacement. Wheeler is a career consultant, energy lobbyist and political aid. His deputy, Andrew Wheeler, is taking over as acting director. Pruitt and his activities have been the subject of numerous investigations by the EPA's inspector general, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Government Accountability Office, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Wheeler worked under Inhofe for about a dozen years, according to The New York Times, and is among a growing number of former Inhofe staffers now employed by the EPA.

Andrew Wheeler, the new acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should do everything he can "to restore the American people's confidence in the agency's mission, which is the protection of human health and our environment", Delaware Sen. The company paid Wheeler's firm at least $300,000 each year between 2009 and 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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".

Like President Trump, Pruitt voiced skepticism about mainstream climate science.

President Trump has lost another Cabinet member. Wheeler said Trump "hasn't been that successful" in his business endeavors and had "more baggage then all of the other Republican candidates combined".


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