EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns amidst ethics questions

12_22_Scott Pruitt

President Trump tweeted, "I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency".

Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned Thursday amid ethics investigations into his office's spending and his relationship with a lobbyist. "I applaud President Trump for placing him in this position".

On Thursday, Trump called Pruitt's top deputy Andrew Wheeler to inform him that he would be taking the helm of the agency, according to an individual who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The person in charge of the EPA's FOIA staff, which has slow-walked and obstructed FOIA requests, is a political ally of Pruitt's and the former treasurer of his PAC. But he added that "the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us". Courts also told the EPA that they had to enforce a rule requiring companies to monitor for methane leaks, even if they were reconsidering the regulation.

That Pruitt has lasted this long is likely attributable to his approach to running the EPA, which many Republicans like Putnam said was unnecessarily burdensome to business under Obama.

Despite his conservative background and his likely continuance of Trump's EPA agenda, Wheeler has previously criticized the President. She urged him to step down in a confrontation caught on video.

Pruitt has been part of the Trump administration since the beginning. Many of the EPA regulations Pruitt scraped or delayed had not yet taken effect, and the tens of thousands of lost coal mining jobs the president pledged to bring back never materialized.

It was also weird given that the first week of Pruitt's planned trip would have been impacted by the shutdown.

Pruitt faced harsh criticisms from House lawmakers over them during April appearances before Congressional committees, where he discussed the EPA's budget. The EPA also confirmed that Pruitt's security detail joined him on first-class flights, contributing to the high costs of his travel. Mink said that when she first approached Pruitt, he "was all smiles", but as their conversation progressed, that smile quickly faded and the former EPA administrator got increasingly defensive and uncomfortable.

He was just one of a number of whistle-blowers at the EPA to raise the alarm about Mr Pruitt's behavior to Congress, where many Republicans now appear to be losing their patience with the environment chief.

Pruitt pushed to fill EPA jobs with personnel from the coal, oil, and chemical industries.

One of the more illustrative points about incoming EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is that he actually had the don't-give-a-f*ck attitude to throw a couple fundraisers for Senators in the lead up to his Senate confirmation.

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