Monday, 19 November, 2018

Scott Pruitt resigns after scandal-plagued tenure

Pruitt aides reveal new details of his controversial spending and management at EPA EPA chief Scott Pruitt
Theresa Hayes | 06 July, 2018, 03:48

As a former lobbyist for Murray Energy, Wheeler had knowledge of the three-page directive which Bob Murray gave to the EPA after donating $300,000 to Mr. Trump's inauguration fund, with a list of demands from the coal industry for the new administrator to enact.

Steve Milloy, who served on Trump's transition team at the EPA, told Breitbart News that Pruitt did a great job advancing the president's agenda of rolling back unsafe and damaging regulations President Barack Obama put in place, and Wheeler is just as committed as his former boss.

Trump tweeted that Pruitt would be replaced by his former deputy at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, who would serve as acting administrator starting on Monday. As Trump tweeted, announcing that he'd accepted the resignation, "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". He denied wrongdoing in the face of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries.

Mr Pruitt's fate seemed secure for the rest of Wednesday at least, since it was Independence Day and the president had no scheduled public appearances aside from a picnic in the grounds of the White House. In fact, he penned an op-ed in January 2017 in which he lauded the former Oklahoma Attorney General as the flawless man to undo environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

He was forced out following a series of revelations involving pricey trips with first-class airline seats and unusual security spending, including a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls. However, Schatz said Pruitt's "worst transgression was that he systematically worked on behalf of polluters to poison our air and our water and make climate change worse".

Pruitt's ethics issues have made him a favorite target of critics of the Trump administration.

In the latest incident, a mom holding her young child asked EPA Chief Scott Pruitt to resign.

Democrats and environmental advocacy groups cheered the departure of Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who has known Wheeler for years, told Breitbart News that he is up to the job, especially given his past work at the EPA. In April, after Oval Office remarks in which he lauded the EPA's work, he reportedly turned to Pruitt and said: "Knock it off".

The very abundance of Pruitt scandals makes you wonder what he could have done that finally forced his resignation - assuming it was forced, and that he isn't about to announce some even more powerful or lucrative gig (just yesterday, Jonathan Chait quite credibly suggested that Pruitt's odd longevity might be attributable to his availability as a replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because Pruitt would not have to be Senate-confirmed under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act).

"I think that Scott Pruitt should have to look at that next generation that he's impacting by how he's making a lot of selfish, stupid decisions on how to spend taxpayer money", Mink said.

Cabinet members who resigned or were ousted include health secretary Tom Price, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, national security advisor HR McMaster and veterans affairs chief David Shulkin.

Wheeler's resume reads like an environmental advocate's nightmare for green groups that push for stronger environmental protection.