"I'm concerned that the Trump administration's assault on human health and the environment will continue long past Pruitt's departure from EPA", Pallone said. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright", Trump wrote.
"It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring", Pruitt wrote in his resignation letter to the president.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News.
Pruitt incurred a sizable number of investigations into his spending and practices at EPA, including inquiries by the House, Senate, the EPA itself and the White House. He also attempted to use his influence to get his wife a job, including as the owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise.
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"If Scott Pruitt is forced out", Brune said, "we'll move straight to Wheeler".
Two Democratic lawmakers asked the EPA's inspector general on Thursday to investigate new allegations that Administrator Scott Pruitt falsified his official schedule to hide or remove records of meetings or discussions with industry representatives. The agency has also defended the increased cost of his travel from first-class flights and 24/7 security detail, citing increased threats against him compared to previous administrators.
There were other expenses, including the fact that Mr. Pruitt installed a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office, and that there were charges of retaliation against both career and political aides who raised concerns about some of these decisions. Pruitt defended himself against numerous allegations, saying that people are creating controversy because they are against his and the administration's agenda at EPA. Jeff Holmstead, an EPA assistant administrator under George W. Bush who is now an energy lawyer at the law firm Bracewell, told TIME in an email that Wheeler "may actually be more effective than Pruitt" thanks to his experience in Washington and starting off fresh at the agency.
Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, a role in which he repeatedly sued the EPA.
A former lobbyist for Murray Energy, the nation's largest underground coal mining company, Wheeler also worked for Inhofe on efforts to combat climate legislation.
The president expressed confidence he would go on to do "great things". "While I disagree with Andrew Wheeler on many environmental policies, particularly coal, I know him personally as someone with high ethical standards and don't expect him to engage in pervasive corruption like Pruitt".