EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid various ethics scandals

NYT's Maggie Haberman Lists Probable Reasons Why Pruitt Is Still in Trump Admin

A former coal lobbyist is set to take over the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday amid questions of unethical behavior. President Trump announced Pruitt's resignation via Twitter. A longtime Inhofe staffer, Andrew Wheeler, was tapped to take over for Pruitt as acting head of the agency.

He continued, "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda".

"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", Pruitt wrote.

Despite President Trump's promises that he defends the Renewable Fuel Standard, Pruitt acted repeatedly to undercut the biofuel law.

Despite the scandals, Trump has been approving of Pruitt's efforts to reduce regulations that the administration says curb business growth.

But as summer unfolded, the amount of pressure on Pruitt began to near its breaking point as former staffers came forward to air their concerns and accusations about the EPA chief.

"I don't think that whatever things he may be accused of are things that most Oklahomans are going to hold against him if he decides to run for office in the future", Worthen said. Environmental groups expressed dismay when he joined the federal agency, and Pruitt has since sought to roll back various environmental regulations, including Obama-era vehicle emission standards.

Mr Pruitt is the subject of at least a dozen investigations into his conduct.

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people.

The explanation for Mr. Pruitt's curious longevity in office, seemingly impervious to widespread media coverage of his ethical lapses, could be seen in an over-the-top resignation letter in which he described Mr. Trump's presidency as nothing short of "God's providence".

"I believe man has an impact on the climate, but what is not completely understood is what the impact is", Wheeler responded.

During his less than two-year tenure, Pruitt crisscrossed the country at taxpayer expense to speak with industry groups and hobnob with GOP donors, but he showed little interest in listening to advocates he derided as "the environmental left".

"From moving to roll back strong fuel economy standards, to repealing the Clean Power Plan, to undermining chemical regulation, to suppressing climate science, to advocating for US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Scott Pruitt made the EPA stand for Every Polluter's Ally", he said in a statement.

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